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PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 2

I) [Phil 2:12]:

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

A) IN THE SAME WAY THAT EPH 6:13 USES THE VERB RENDERED "WORK OUT" IN PHIL 2:12 TO ACCOMPLISH ALL THINGS WITH ONE'S ALREADY RECEIVED SPIRITUAL ARMOR, SO THE VERB IN PHIL 2:12 PORTRAYS EXERCISING THE RESULTS OF ONE'S ALREADY RECEIVED SALVATION

1) [Compare Eph 6:13]:

(v. 13) "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

"dia .............touto analabete tEn panoplian tou theou hina

Because of this ...take up ....the full armor of ...God in order that

dunEthEte ..........antistEnai ...en tE ..hEmera tE ponEra

you may be able to withstand in .the day ..............evil

kai hapanta ...katergasamenoi ..........stEnai

and all things having accomplished...to stand"

Just as the verb "katergasamenoi", (aorist nom. part.) in Eph 6:13 is used to signify "having accomplished, i.e., worked out the purpose of one's spiritual armor which had already been received beforehand,

so the same verb "katergazomai", (present, imperative) in Phil 2:12 is used to command the already saved believer to "work out" the purpose of his salvation which he had already received beforehand.

"katergasamenoi" = "having accomplished" in the sense of having put to use the spiritual armor the believer had already received at salvation in order to stand [firm in the faith].

"katergazomai" = "work out" in the sense of exercising through faithful good works the already received condition of salvation - the purpose for which an individual is saved, (Eph 2:8-10).

B) BELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW - BELIEVERS WHO BY DEFINITION ARE ETERNALLY SECURE

[Bob Wilkin states, Grace in Focus by Passage http://155.229.51.114/Grace/news/y1993/93may3.html

"Working Out Your Salvation--Philippians 2:12"]:

"In our verse Paul calls the readers "my beloved," an expression he reserves for believers. See also 1:1 where Paul indicates that he is writing, "to the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi." Believers are already eternally saved and cannot lose that salvation.

1) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory."

Detailed study on eternal security:

C) PAUL IS CALLING BELIEVERS TO ONGOING OBEDIENCE

Paul begins this verse with the words "as you have always obeyed." We expect him to go on to say something like, "keep on obeying." While he does not use exactly those words, that is implicit in what he does say. Working out one's salvation is another way of talking about ongoing obedience. The following context bears out this conclusion.

1) [Compare Phil 1:27-30]:

(v. 27) "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

(v. 28) without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved - and that by God.

(v. 29) For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him,

(v. 30) since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

D) FEAR AND TREMBLING?

While believers are not to fear hell-Jesus has guaranteed that no will go there (John 3:16-18; 5:24), we are to fear the Lord. This fear reflects both reverence for His awesome grandeur (e.g., Isa 6) and respect for His discipline (e.g., Heb 12:3-11). Believers are thus to exercise ongoing obedience with an attitude of reverential fear.

E) WHAT DOES "WORK OUT" MEAN?

1) Compare Working Out One's Humanity

Just as one does not have to work out one's humanity in order to eventually be human,

[Is someone who does not act right any less human in the sense of being part of Homosapien species than one who does?]

but rather one is simply stating that one is expressing in some way the condition that one is human - often with charitable deeds towards other humans; in the same way one who states that one is working out one's salvation , one is not working out one's salvation in order to eventually be saved

[Scripture teaches that one possesses salvation once and for all time at the moment of believing, (Jn 3:16; Eph 2:8-9)],

but rather one is in this case simply doing something which demonstrates the condition that they are saved.

2) Compare Working Out One's Talent

Consider that the normative rules of language permit one to say that one is working out one's talent to play music in the sense that one is not to receive such talent as a result of the work, rather one has already received such talent at birth and the work that one is doing is simply an effort of developing that talent, i.e., making it more productive, enhancing it, demonstrating it - not creating its existence.

In the same way, salvation unto eternal life is fully received at the point of faith alone in Christ alone at the moment of new birth, (Jn 3:1-16). So working out such salvation in the context of this particular passage which is addressed to believers who are already saved is simply making it more productive in one's life, enhancing it or developing it as so many passages in the bible command including this one in Philippians chapter 2.

a) [Compare Phil 1:27-30]:

(v. 27) "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

(v. 28) without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved - and that by God.

(v. 29) For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him,

(v. 30) since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."

[Compare Jas 2:all ]

Note this passage in Phil 1:27-30 closely precedes 2:12. Paul is herein exhorting believers to "conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ", "stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel", i.e., Paul is commanding them to work out their salvation so that it will be a sign to others. And this sign is to be a demonstration to unbelievers that they will be destroyed, but that you [believers] will be saved. So when a believer is conducting himself worthy of the gospel of Christ, he is demonstrating the salvation he already permanently has as a sign to unbelievers that they will be destroyed and the believers saved. The sign is an outward demonstration of the inward, spiritual reality that the believer is irrevocably saved unto eternal life.

F) The Believer Is Commanded To Do Good Works As A Purpose Of His Already Received Salvation

1) [Eph 2:8-10]:

(v. 8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

(v. 9) not by works, so that no one can boast.

(v. 10) For we [believers] are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

G) Believers - Once Saved - Are God's Workmanship Created In Christ Jesus To Do God's Works Thereafter

1) [Compare 1 Cor 3:5]:

"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each [believer] His task."

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, (Wuest's Word Studies, From the Greek New Testament, Vol. 1, EPHESIANS AND COLOSSIANS, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1973), p. 70]:

'''Commenting on the words, "For we are His workmanship," Vincent says: 'A reason why no man should glory. If we are God's workmanship, our salvation cannot be of ourselves.' Expositors comments: 'We ourselves are at work, the handiwork of God, made anew by Him, and our salvation, therefore, is due to Him, not to ourselves.'''...

...We are God's spiritual handiwork in the sense that we were created by Him, made a new spiritual creature by Him when His grace made us Christians. [2 Cor 5:17] This new creation was in Christ so that except by union between Him and us it could not have taken place (Eph. 2:15, 4:24, 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:10). Also it was with a view to good works... We ourselves then having been created anew by God, and good works being the object to which that new creation looked, not the cause that led to it [underlining mine] all must be of grace - not of deeds, and there can be no room for boasting.' '''

2) [Compare Titus 3:5 and 2:14]:

We were saved solely by the mercy of God and not by any good works such as water baptism, church going, repentance, from an unfaithful lifestyle, etc:

3) [Titus 3:5]:

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" And God saved us so that we could THEN be enabled by His grace to perform His preordained good works:

4) [Compare Titus 2:14]:

"Who [Jesus Christ] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed...

[i.e., first comes salvation and then come the good works]:

...and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."

So what an individual is to do once he does get saved is to move on into a life of study, acceptance and obedience to God's Word - a life which is controlled more and more by God the Holy Spirit unto good works resulting in rewards in heaven.

II) [Phil 2:13-18]:

(v. 2:13 NIV) "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.

(v. 2:14 NIV) Do everything without complaining or arguing,

(v. 2:15 NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

(v. 2:16 NIV) as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

(v. 2:17 NIV) But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.

(v. 2:18 NIV) So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."

A) SUMMARY IN CAPS

(v. 2:12) "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (v. 2:13 NIV) for it is God Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." =

The word "for" which means "because" referring to verse 2:12 with a view to the expected results of working out ones salvation, i.e., that it results in acting according to God's good purpose. Notice that as the believer works out his salvation, it is God Who works in him to will and act according to His good purpose: to work out his salvation.

B) SUMMARY IN CAPS

(v. 2:12) "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (v. 2:13 NIV) for it is God Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (v. 2:14 NIV) Do everything without complaining or arguing, (v. 2:15 NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." =

A temporal result with no benefit directly stipulated of believers who work out their salvation is in view: believers are to work out their salvation so that they may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which they shine like stars in the universe. Hence temporal sanctification is in view wherein faithful believers who work out their salvation are described as sanctified, i.e., set apart as "blameless and pure, children ofGod without fault" from a crooked and depraved generation that they are living amongst. On the other hand, there is so far indicated up through verse 2:14 no particular benefit to believers for working out their salvation stipulated with this result except that a benefit to God is implied = that God is glorified which in turn suggests benefits of some kind to the believers in so doing. But nothing specific so far.

C) SUMMARY IN CAPS

(v. 2:12) "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (v. 2:13 NIV) for it is God Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (v. 2:14 NIV) Do everything without complaining or arguing, (v. 2:15 NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (v. 2:16 NIV) as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (v. 2:17 NIV) But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. (v. 2:18 NIV) So you too should be glad and rejoice with me." =