Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Once you decide to get serious about becoming like Christ, you must begin to act in new ways. You’ll need to let go of some old routines, develop some new habits, and intentionally change the way you think.
The verse above shows the two parts of spiritual growth: “work out” and “work in.”The “work out” is your responsibility and the “work in” is God’s role.Spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit works with us, not just in us.
This verse, written to believers, is not about how to be saved, but how to grow. It doesn’t say “work for” your salvation, because you can’t add anything to what Jesus already did!
For example, during a physical workout, you exercise to develop your body, not to get a body. When you work out a puzzle, you already have all the pieces – your task is to put the pieces together. Farmers work the land, not to get land, but to develop what they already have.
God has given you a new life; now you’re responsible to develop it “with fear and trembling.” That means to take your spiritual growth seriously, because it will determine your role in eternity. When people are casual about their growth in Christlikeness, it shows they don’t understand the implications.
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