The Christian's Obedience, Part 2 (Sermon Recap)
Our most recent sermon was Part 2 of "The Christian's Serious, Satisfying, and Supernatural Obedience." This series of sermons is an in-depth study of Philippians 2:12-13, and in Part 2 we focused on the phrase "work out your own salvation" (Philippians 2:12 ESV).
Instead of a typical recap, here is an excerpt from the sermon followed by a simple explanation of what Part 2 sought to accomplish.
First, the excerpt:
Looking back, Christians can say that ‘we have been saved, we have been born again, we have been forgiven, we have been justified, we have been reconciled to God.’ We are to rest secure in these wonderful things that God has done for us. But we must never forget that the very nature of this salvation is salvation into fellowship with Christ, a fellowship in which we walk with Him and follow after Him in a life of necessary obedience, love, and mission.
Looking at this present time, Christians can say that ‘we are being saved, we are growing in grace, we are being conformed to the character and pattern of Christ’s life, we are participating in His mission, His suffering, and His work.’ Those who rest secure in the wonderful things that God has done for us, also eagerly participate in what God is presently doing in and through them. Our initial salvation at conversion leads naturally to our ongoing salvation expressed in spiritual growth and faithful obedience, and our ongoing salvation expressed in spiritual growth and faithful obedience leads naturally to our future and final salvation.
So looking forward, Christians can say that ‘we will be saved, we will be resurrected, we will be vindicated, we will be glorified and perfected, we will bear a striking resemblance to our Lord, and He will say to every true disciple who proved good and faithful, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, 23 ESV). The alternative to being a “good and faithful servant” is to be unfaithful and therefore banished from God’s kingdom (see Matthew 25:24-30).
Those who have been reconciled to God not only rest secure in what God has done for them and not only eagerly participate in what God is presently doing in them, but also look forward to what God will do for them – and they understand that their present participation in what God is doing is necessary anticipation, preparation, and ripening for the glory to come.
Second, with this big picture view of biblical salvation in view, "[working] out your own salvation" means pursuing the future aspect of salvation (your glorification) by walking the obedient path which leads to it, and – as Philippians 2:13 makes so clear – doing so in God's strength.