Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Phil 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

We seem to stop with verse 12, but verse 12 is impossible without verse 13. Could we even say that verse 12 hangs on verse 13?

This salvation that we have - this wonderful, marvelous, eternal, splendiferous salvation that we have received solely as a gift of God's wonderful, marvelous, eternal, slendiferous grace, through His glorious gospel - is something that we "work out" in fear (awe, reverence) and trembling. Why fear? Why trembling? Because it is GOD HIMSELF - the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the Creator of everything, the Great I Am, the Ancient of Days, the Eternal Living God - who has joined Himself with us and is at work in us in powerful and mighty ways. It's not "me" who's pulling this thing off. HE is at work in us to will and to do for His good pleasure!

If we are to boast about anything, it is in our weakness. In our weakness, He is strong. His strength is made perfect in weakness. "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Cor 12:9)


  1. Excellent! Yes, verse 12 was thrown at me in an unhelpful way before so I appreciate your thoughts on this!

  2. Joel--You're right. You've got to tie those verses together, or you get people trying to make themselves into mature Christians in their own strength. I just read a quote from someone who said something like, "We're not changed by the promises we make to God. We're changed by the promises God makes to us."

    I love that idea, because it drives home the truth that when God begins His good work in us, He will complete it, no matter what.

  3. How true Joel…how very poignant!

    It ties in so well with Ephesians 2:8-10!

  4. Lydia & Richard,

    Yep I've heard all kinds of legalistic stuff coming from verse 12, and I've really come to appreciate the meaning of "context" in regards to these verses. :) I really like that quote - "We're not changed by the promises we make to God. We're changed by the promises God makes to us."


    Amen... we are HIS workmanship! :)