“Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” vs. 12
Much has been made of the phrase, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” and theologians have had a field day trying to figure out just what this means. Is Paul tossing out grace and telling the good folks at Philippi that salvation depends on their works? Probably not! From the context, it appears he’s simply letting them know that the road ahead is not going to be easy, particularly since he’s not going to be around as an on-site leader. There’ll be challenges aplenty and lots of decisions to be made…there might even be persecution. And even though he will be absent, he knows that they’ll work things out, albeit with plenty of fear and trembling. That’s how it is on the journey of grace…and that’s how it continues to be. On our own, we shake in our boots at the prospect of obstacles, pitfalls, and detours…and we worry about our family and friends…and faith is elusive. Many times the loneliness is overwhelming…and we wish we had someone we trusted who could tell us what to do. The good news is that we’re aren’t alone or abandoned. As Paul assures the Philippians, God is at work in us and by grace salvation comes.
Thought for the Day: Times I’ve felt fear and trembling.