by Pastor Lee Hemen
June 3, 2008
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
How would you categorize your faith? You know, classify, sort out, catalog, label, pigeonhole your walk with God? This is exactly what Paul meant here in Philippians when he wrote them to “work out” their salvation. He did not mean that they had to do good works to be saved, but rather that they needed to “sort out” or categorize their faith through their actions with “fear and trembling.” Why? Because Christians often take their salvation for granted. We do not approach it with the admiration, respect, and adoration it deserves. After all, it cost Jesus His life!
In fact, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 2:5) Oh yeah? Yeah! Notice that even though He was “God,” Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8) Paul meant that Jesus, while walking this earth, decided to be human in all respects, and therefore “humbled Himself.” In fact, Jesus knew He could not just “steal” His divine nature back at anytime, because if He did, He would not and could not have paid the penalty for mankind’s sin. He had to be obedient as a human being and become the sacrifice for all sin “once for all.” (Hebrew 7:27 and 9:26) In fact, “by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all!” (Hebrews 10:10) as Peter would declare: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit!” (1 Peter 3:18)
So, then, how do you categorize your faith? Is it squarely in what Jesus did for you, or are you still trying to “please God?” If you are still trying to please God, you had better be in real fear and trembling because you are therefore unsure of your salvation. Out of respect for what Jesus has done, we as believers should always be in holy “fear” and in some “trembling” for the expression of God’s love toward us as sinners. As Paul would cry, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:6-8) It is an amazing thing to realize that the God of all creation came to earth, decided to lay aside His divine nature, and in fact considered it “robbery” to even think about using it, and deliberately decided to go to the cross for our sins! WOW!
Therefore, do not compartmentalize your faith, but live it freely, openly, and with “fear and trembling” over what was done for you through Jesus. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 2:5)
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.