Monday, November 06, 2006

Working Out Our Salvation

Paul wrote to the Philippian church, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling".

For many who see the christian faith as a works-based philosophy and self-improvement program to get right with God, this may sound good.

But in reality, Paul doesn't have a works mentality in mind here. What he was trying to get at is the heart of the believer - and how when God enters that heart, He begins a new work. Growth happens. Love blossoms. Bitterness and envy waste away. Things that you once saw as valuable, you now see as rubbish. Chains are broken.

And most importantly, Christ becomes beautiful.

In Jeremiah, we see a man whom God is at work in:

"But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it”.

Does your heart become weary when you do not proclaim Christ? Does your heart become like a "burning fire, shut up in your bones", when you try to mute the excellencies of God in Christ within your soul?

Freedom in Christ involves a working out our salvation, with fear and trembling. But again, this is not a burdensome thing. "-for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

You will do well to work out your salvation now, by thinking on these things (His dying on the cross for you; that you were once lost, and are now found; that He has saved you from the reality of hell; that He has now, sealed you and saved you to Himself; that He is to be prized and is worthy of all affections and value in the universe; and so on). And then - out of that thinking and feeling - go, be and do out of the overflow of His riches and mercies poured out in your own life.

For hearts, burning for Him.

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