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Thread: Work Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Work Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling

    Let's hear your perspectives (Philippians 2)
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    It needs to be read along with its following verse:

    for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
    Having said that, I think the verse is a good reminder that salvation is a lifelong process of discipleship where we take an active, not passive role in becoming better followers of Jesus, and not just a one-time thing where you say a prayer and you're good. Anybody who thinks the latter is all there is to Christianity doesn't understand what Christianity is.
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    It needs to be read along with its following verse:

    for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
    Having said that, I think the verse is a good reminder that salvation is a lifelong process of discipleship where we take an active, not passive role in becoming better followers of Jesus, and not just a one-time thing where you say a prayer and you're good. Anybody who thinks the latter is all there is to Christianity doesn't understand what Christianity is.
    I agree that we need to look at the "for" that follows the often troublesome quote, but emphasize that it is also preceded by a "Therefore".
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    What about the "fear or trembling" part? That could refer either to fear of losing our salvation/not being saved (depending on if you believe in eternal security), but I suspect it more likely has to do with a holy reverence for God.
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

  5. Amen Teallaura, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    What about the "fear or trembling" part? That could refer either to fear of losing our salvation/not being saved (depending on if you believe in eternal security), but I suspect it more likely has to do with a holy reverence for God.
    I think verses 12 and 13 work together, based on (therefore) the previous beautiful Christological hymn of what Christ has done, and have more to do with "the fear of God", as you suggest, in "awe" or "holiness", to allow God's work (the "because" or "for" you referenced in verse 13) to work in us.

    Therefore (Christ having done His work) -- you work out your salvation with fear and trembling (in Awe of Him) -- (because or for) God is working in you...

    Luke 6:46 - Jesus asks His disciples why they call him Lord, but don't do what He says to do. I think that's what Paul is doing - pretty much "if you're going to call yourselves Christians, ACT LIKE IT".

    Still thinking through how best to word this, which is why I'm interested in input. (The word "salvation" in chapter 1 is used for 'physical deliverance' - and the old testament word means deliverance)

    I think we (American Revivalism) read every text in light of our major orientation "are you saved" or "how did you get saved".

    Last point - I don't believe we are saved BY works, but I think we are saved FOR or TO good works.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    I remember Vance Havner had a book titled "We Wrestle Not!"

    "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy..." (Heb 12:14)

    "... make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. … Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election." (2 Pe 1:5–7,10)

    "... make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him." (2 Pe 3:14)

    A number of "make every effort"s directed at believers! These would seem to have a bearing on "work out your salvation", progress towards holiness is not a walk in the park.

    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Co 9:24–27)

    "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." (Heb 12:4)

    !!!

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Correction, "We Wrestle Not!" is a sermon by Leonard Ravenhill…

    "You cannot fight the good fight while lying on your back. Let's face it: We are not living in a day of militant Christianity..."

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    OTOH, the yoke of His teachings is supposed to be light, easy to bear, restful to the soul. -- Matt. 11
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    OTOH, the yoke of His teachings is supposed to be light, easy to bear, restful to the soul. -- Matt. 11
    Source: C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    The Christian way is hard, and easy. Christ says `Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’

    Both harder and easier. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, ‘Take up your Cross’- in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden light.’ He means both. And one can just see why both are true.

    Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two boys, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take trouble will try to understand it. The lazy boy will try to learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for an exam, that lazy boy is doing hours and hours of miserable drudgery over things the other boy understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run. …

    It is like that here. The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves,’ to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’.

    © Copyright Original Source



    So I agree!

    Blessings,
    Lee
    Last edited by lee_merrill; 09-01-2019 at 01:12 PM.
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Source: C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    The Christian way is hard, and easy. Christ says `Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’

    Both harder and easier. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, ‘Take up your Cross’- in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden light.’ He means both. And one can just see why both are true.

    Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two boys, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take trouble will try to understand it. The lazy boy will try to learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for an exam, that lazy boy is doing hours and hours of miserable drudgery over things the other boy understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run. …

    It is like that here. The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves,’ to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’.

    © Copyright Original Source



    So I agree!

    Blessings,
    Lee
    I don't understand why Lewis is so revered. I read that, and about all I get is the "wah-wah-WAH-wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah" of "adult-speak" in Charlie Brown cartoons. Seriously. It is of no help to my understanding. :-(
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    Beige Nationalist.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

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