"Work Out Your Own Salvation"
God's Word commands His true saints "to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
This is a Scripture that is heard and quoted from God's Word many times in messages and articles. What does Paul mean when he says to all saints in Phil. 2:12, "To work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?" Is this the spiritual work going on in the life of a saint, from the time of the Passover, when one accepts Christ as his Passover, to the time God will harvest that saint as part of His Firstfruits, pictured at Pentecost?
God's work of harvesting His spiritual Firstfruits involves a spiritual work, that should be going on in every Christian's life, that His Word speaks of as, "working out your own salvation." This is God's great miracle work, that He desires of all His called and chosen ones, and a work they should be wholeheartedly involved in, concerning all their life and conduct. It requires much effort on the part of all of His believers, to accomplish God's great work of creating new sons for His Kingdom. Are you diligently working with Him, or against Him, in doing the work of God in your life, to become one of His sons?
In today's world of confessed Christianity, its members are confused and deceived, and believe there is no personal spiritual work that has to be accomplished in a Christian's life. Attending services on Sunday is all that is needed for them to do. Christ's teaching about repentance, obedience, justification, grace, and how one is accepted by Christ for salvation, has through the teaching of Satan's ministers, confused and deceived them. Likewise and shameful, many church of God, 7th day Sabbath keepers are now accepting the same confusion and deception! Are you a church member of the belief that you have nothing to do, or to fear, in doing God's Work in your life? Some believe that just attending services and fellowshipping on the Sabbath with a church group, is all there is to working out your salvation. Has Christ done it all, and now there is nothing left for you to do, or fear, in receiving salvation in your life?
Has the Church of God ministry inspired you to do the work of God in your life, and are they teaching you, just what it is that you should be doing to work out your salvation? Some ministers are now teaching that doctrine is not all that important in working out your salvation. Does that teaching strike a fear in you? It should! Is that teaching truth or error? Do you feel secure with that teaching and understanding, and that there is nothing to fear in following such a ministry?
Christ, in John 6:27-29 says, "labor, or work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him has the Father sealed." Then the disciples in verse 28 asked, "what is the work of God that they should do," and Christ answered them by saying in verse 29, "this is the work of God, that you believe on Him (Christ) whom He has sent." In verse 40, Christ tells all of His disciples, "This is the will of the Father that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." This is the foundation and focus of the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, that was given to man!
Why then does the Church of God leadership preach and proclaim another work and another gospel, that is focused on, and presented by them as the coming government, or coming Kingdom of God, which they have been led to believe by their pastor general's teaching, that this has been given to them by the authority and commission of Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ says plainly that He is the Gospel, and that He is the Savior, and believing in Him is the Work, as just has been shown by Scripture! Then why does the church ministry preach another gospel, and another work? Isn't the reason because they just don't understand what Christ meant when He said He has come to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?
God the Father, sent Jesus Christ to reveal to His people that there is a spiritual kingdom, a God Kingdom, that He and Christ are the rulers and great spiritual God beings over that kingdom, called the Kingdom of God, or heaven. God the Father, sent Jesus Christ from that Kingdom to this earth to make it possible for any and all of His human, born creations who would repent, and believe in, and accept Christ as their Savior, to be a part of that eternal, great Kingdom, if they really want it, and are willing to submit their life and work for it. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and this is not the gospel, or good news, that has been taught and presented as the true focused gospel from God's Word. Instead, another gospel is preached, that is focused on the coming Kingdom, or coming government of God. God's coming Kingdom is bad news to today's world, and it will not be good news to world's society, because its coming will come as a world ruling Kingdom, administering God's judgment to all people all over the earth, because of sin and wickedness.
So this "another gospel of God's coming government," is not, and will not be good news to a rebellious society today, and all people of the earth that have not repented of their sins and wickedness. Why, it is because Christ said everyone who does not repent, and has not prepared oneself for receiving salvation, to receive Him and have Him receive them, will perish at the coming of His Kingdom, His coming government. This is not good news to people and sinners of today.
Nowhere in Christ's Word can anyone, church evangelist or pastor, or church member, find the words, or verses, that Christ's work and commission for the church, and His gospel for His church is, to preach "the coming Kingdom of God!" It cannot be found! Then why has this as "another gospel" been preached as the "gospel," or as the "work," or as the "commission," that the church should be involved in doing and proclaiming to all the earth? Is there any fear among them that they have been preaching another gospel, Gal.1:8-9. It sure does not seem to be by their fruit of no repentance. All of this has been used by Satan and His ministry, to keep the attention and focus of people on men and the vainity of men, and their church government. A church government that thrives on power, money, and the domination of brethren's lives. It keeps the brethren's attention focused off of Christ and away from the true Gospel of Christ, and how each person can become a member of God's great Kingdom, by submitting and looking to the Father and Christ for salvation, instead of men. And it has likewise been used by Satan's ministers to confuse the church of what each person needs to do, to work out their own salvation, so they can be an inheritor of God's Kingdom.
Jesus Christ, in John 6:27-29, is giving all of His church, the foundation and focus for doing the Work of God in their life, and to be an example of Christ's light and truth to others. Every church member, called to be a saint, who desires everlasting life, must believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He is, the Son of God, and why He came and was sent to the earth by God the Father. Christ said, understanding this and accepting Him as savior, "is the work," John 6:29! But do ministers and brethren really believe Christ and what He says is the true work, or are they following men and believe what men and ministers are teaching and saying is the work and the focus of the work?
So the very first principle of understanding Paul's statement, "to work out your salvation with fear and trembling," is to fear that you are not doing what Christ said is the Work, and that you are believing and supporting what man says is the Work! It is a documented fact by the literature and statements and churches' belief system where they say, Christ is not the focused gospel and the work! Why have the ministers of the Churches of God twisted and perverted what Christ says is the Work? And other denominations of Christian churches teach all you have to do is just accept the name of Christ for salvation without any true repentance. Do ministers and members fear and tremble at not obeying Christ's Word, and that they are not doing what Christ says is the Work? Then why do members continue to support "another work, another commission, and another good news gospel," that can be found nowhere in His Word where Christ says, preaching the "coming Kingdom of God" is the work and Gospel, and commission of the church?
When, a called to be saint, or church member, comes to see that he must repent of all his sins and accept the Good News of Jesus Christ, as his Lord and Savior, and is given God's Holy Spirit, this begins the true Work of God in his life and is accepting, submitting to, and obeying the Gospel. This begins a new life in the Spirit of a called, and chosen son. Christ says through Paul in Phil. 1:6, "Be confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you (to become one of Christ's firstfruits) will perform it (complete it) until the day of Jesus Christ." This beginning work that the members of the Church of Philippi had already done, and Paul in Phil. 2:12, was admonishing them "to work out their own salvation," or to continue to complete the work that Christ had started in them.
This work of Christ that is started with the begettal of His Spirit in a person, must continue to grow in His Spirit until he is totally led, directed, and perfected in God's Spirit. When this Work is completed, a saint is now born again, and fully mature in God's Spirit, and is as Christ taught, John 3:5, born again now, of the Spirit. This all must take place before the resurrection, and not at the resurrection, when the change of the physical body to spirit, will take place. The change to spirit of the body composition at the resurrection, will not, and cannot change the mind and heart of a member to spirit, if that heart and mind is still of the flesh, still living by the flesh, and has not developed and matured in the Spirit.
The truth and fact of God's Word is this; any fleshly heart and mind of a church member, that has not developed in the Spirit, will not be resurrected! Paul says plainly and clearly in I Cor. 15:50, "that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." This is not only referring to the body, but also consists of, and pertains to the mind and heart of a person lead by the flesh. Paul is saying here, the member still living by putting first, the desires of the flesh will not inherit God's Kingdom. This Scripture ties in well with Romans 8:5, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are (live) after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." Verse 13, "For if you live (are all involved and concerned) after the flesh, you shall die (be not resurrected as God's firstfruits) but if through the Spirit do mortify the deeds (works) of the body (the fleshly pursuits of a fleshly mind and heart), you shall live." If God's Spirit is leading you, then you will be resurrected as Christ's firstfruits!
What does "fear and trembling" in Paul's admonition in this verse, have to do with a saint working out his salvation? Is there something to be fearful of, in doing God's Work in your life? But doesn't God's Word say, "there is no fear in love, I John 4:18, and that perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love." Then where does fear and trembling fit in with Paul's inspired teaching and admonition, concerning saints working out their own salvation?
Christ, through Paul, is teaching and warning all chosen to be saints about the life and death seriousness that they are to develop and grow to maturity, in order to be born of the Spirit, or else they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Here is where "working out your salvation with fear and trembling," comes into the picture. Every chosen, to be saint should understand he must be led by God's Spirit, to develop the love of God in his heart, and without this love, he realizes he is nothing, and his life will come to nothing, I Cor. 13: 1-3. In plain words, a member, or minister, could be a great speaker, or be one with a gift of prophecy, or a member that can understand mysteries and have all knowledge, or even be one having great faith, and he could still not have love. God says, "He that is without God's Love is as nothing and all his work in his life is vain."
Every called and chosen child of God should fear and tremble, if he is not developing and growing to have God's love. John says in I John 4:7-8, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God: for God is love." This should cause a fear and trembling for every church member that still does not have God's love in them, or is not growing in His love. John continues in verse 12, " If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us."
If a member of the body Jesus Christ has come to the place in his life that he understands about God's love, and how one is made perfect in His love through the keeping of His commandments, I John 5: 2-3, then the love of that member is being made perfect. This love will cast out all the fear of offensive ministers and unloving members, and what they say about you, in persecuting you, and casting you out of their fellowship. This love will also cast out fear of God and His judgment against your sins, because you now know that you are doing what He commands, and doing what is pleasing to Him by doing His work. John says in I John 3;18, "there is no fear in love: but perfect love cast out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love."
Any member, who no longer fears men and their power structure of offences, abuses and disfellowship through their church government, and has overcome this evil work of men, is loving God and casting out fear. Any member, who no longer fears hostile brethren, their intimidation, persecution, hatred and unloving resentment against him, is loving God and casting out fear. Why is this so? It is because you are putting God and His Word first and you as a member are now obeying God in what He commands of you. This is growth in love, and faith and the power of God's Spirit, and this will cast out fear. This is spiritual growth in working out your own salvation.
A true member of the body of Jesus Christ has come to realize, it is with difficulty, and it takes much work in studying God's Word daily, spending much time in His Word, overcoming the evil and sins of the world and church, enduring and standing up against difficult situations and trials. He also realizes and needs to pray continually and daily without fail for understanding of His Word, and to receive help through His Holy Spirit, to overcome and endure to the end. This is also "working out your own salvation." The apostle Peter also gives this admonition along with what Paul said in Phil. 2:12, that saints must work at their salvation in order to be saved, by saying in I Peter 4:18 - "And if the righteous scarcely, scarcely meaning with difficulty and much work, (Strong's 3444-with difficulty and with much work) be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" This means that those that are yet sinners, and who do confess that they are still sinners in the church and by this their confession are ungodly, and are not righteous. This is the fruit of not working out their salvation. These are members that still have yet a great trial before them before they can be saved!
Paul says to the all brethren in I Cor.3:3, "who are yet fleshly, who are yet following the way of envying, strife, and church divisions, you are still carnal-fleshly, followers of the flesh." These are ministers and members who are not working out their own salvation. In verse 13, Paul says - "Every man's (salvational) work shall be made manifest: for the day (the great trial over the earth) shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." Verse 14 - "If any man's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward, (salvation and rulership)." Verse 15 - "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire."
These are church members whose work has not been
the "working out their own salvation," and who have not been working
for the spiritual food that will not perish, and who have not been laying
up treasures in heaven, but are striving after the things pertaining to the
flesh. They have been working for the exalting of self, like working to be
somebody of rank and office in the church, and have not been striving to
diligently obey God's commandments in their entirety, and who have not been
working at being turned to righteousness, and becoming complete in God's
The great trial of God's judgment over the whole earth will bring all such members to their spiritual senses and they will realize their whole life and work has been vain, and has not been what God desired and commanded of them. At this time of great trial, these ministers and members are looking their spiritual death straight in the face! Hopefully, they will repent deeply, and because of this repentance, God will at least save and seal them, but they will suffer great loss and opportunities of not having any accomplishment, or work, to take with them into God's Kingdom, which will minimize their reward.
Paul says in I Cor. 50:58, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." A called to be saint is working at studying Christ's Word, and understanding the doctrines of Jesus Christ and His Word. He works at becoming steadfast and unmovable with Christ's doctrines, that establishes his salvation, and does not permit any minister to come along and preach to him that doctrine is not important in his salvation!
The members of God's true church are not permitting the truth and error mixtures to become teachings, or truth and sin combinations accepted to become doctrine, that many ministers are now teaching, to deceive and mislead them about being born again of the spirit, about their salvation, about the true gospel, and about the true Work of Christ. Christ inspired Paul to write in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God," and as stated in verse 23, are brethren who have, and are the firstfruits of the Spirit.
What does it mean to be led of God's Spirit, to be the firstfruits of His Spirit? Jesus Christ says in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit that gives life: the flesh profits nothing: the words I (Christ) speak unto you are Spirit and are life." Christ says His Words are Spirit! Do you understand this statement, that Christ's Words are Spirit and power? Many brethren and ministers are being led by the flesh, doing their own work and work of men, which profits nothing! The true brethren that are led by the Holy Spirit, are led by the Words of Christ! Words make up doctrine and teachings, and for any minister, or member, to teach that doctrine, which are the Words and Spirit of Christ, is not important, or taught as not important as church fellowship, is denying Christ, His Words, and His Spirit! In order to work out their salvation, brethren must be studying and proving Christ's Words daily to understand His doctrines, to establish His salvation, and to establish the leadership of God's Spirit in their life!
When Christ taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," Mat. 6:10, He was teaching all of His followers that God's Kingdom represents His Spirit, His Power, and His Authority, with all the understanding it gives to every chosen son. God's Spirit, Power, and Authority, with all of its knowledge, understanding and wisdom, is to prayed and asked to come into every called and chosen disciple, to direct, lead, and to inspire each one to work out their own salvation, by overcoming all evil, sin and their natural desires to follow their own flesh, or the flesh of men.
Jesus Christ says in Luke 8:10, "it is given unto you (His true disciples of His true church) to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to others those mysteries are just parables without meaning and understanding that will bear no fruit." He says in verse 14 that when God's Word of understanding is received by some, "it is choked with the cares (involved with vain church work and much family attention) and riches (worried over the pay check) and pleasures of this life (all the things this life and its pleasures entices one to be involved in doing), and bring no fruit to perfection."
The firstfruits of Christ's church must bring fruit to perfection in their life, and as Christ says in verse 18, everyone should "Take heed therefore how you hear (be warned and fear and tremble that you may not be understanding the Word as given): for whosoever has, to him shall be given (even greater understanding); and whosoever has not (is no longer growing in understanding because of pride, believing they have all understanding), from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." Christ's called out ones, called to be His firstfruits, must bring forth fruit to perfection, or they are going to lose what they once had, or seem to have!
More and more Christian confessing members are losing what they thought they had in the way of being a true Christian, because they have not been taking seriously God's Word and what Christ commands of all to be converted to His way of life. People are not exercising the effort and labor that is needed in study, prayer, and proving doctrine from the Scripture to be approved of Christ to submit to His command to work out their own salvation.
For questions and comments our e-mail address and many more articles can be accessed at our website http://www.donimon.org/light.index.html