Christian Challenges

Work Out Your Own Salvation With Fear And Trembling

Philippians 2:12.

One text that nearly all Christian can resite is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Webster's dictionary tells us that the word "whosoever" means "any one; any person whatever." Note that "whosoever" is a singular pronoun. Salvation is for any individual. It is not for a family, church, nationality, or group of any kind. It is to be sort after by individuals.

Scripture tells us that if we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and are led by the Holy Spirit we are the sons or daughters of God (John 1:12; Rom. 8:14). Nowhere in Scripture does it mention that there are grandchildren, mother, fathers, etc., of God. In God there is no rank or difference, we are all brethren (Matt. 23:8).

This also means that we cannot save someone else. We can only lead them to Jesus Christ who is the only Saviour of this world. No one can be saved by proxy. It is for each and every individual to work out their own salvation with God.

"The gospel deals with individuals. Every human being has a soul to save or to lose. Each has an individuality separate and distinct from all others. Each must be convicted for himself, converted for himself. He must receive the truth, repent, believe, and obey for himself. He must exercise his will for himself. . . . Each must surrender to God by his own act." Our High Calling by Ellen White, p. 90.

"Many poor souls are groping in darkness, looking for the feelings which others say they have had in their experience. They overlook the fact that the believer in Christ must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The convicted sinner has something to do. He must repent and show true faith. When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart?-- A changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride." Messages To Young People by Ellen White, p. 71-2.

"If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience. . . . Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation." Steps to Christ by Ellen White, p. 80.

"'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.' Phil. 2:12, 13. God does not bid you fear that He will fail to fulfill His promises, that His patience will weary, or His compassion be found wanting. Fear lest your will shall not be held in subjection to Christ's will, lest your hereditary and cultivated traits of character shall control your life. 'It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.' Fear lest self shall interpose between your soul and the great Master Worker. Fear lest self-will shall mar the high purpose that through you God desires to accomplish. Fear to trust to your own strength, fear to withdraw your hand from the hand of Christ and attempt to walk life's pathway without His abiding presence." Christ Object Lessons by Ellen White, p. 161.

So with distrust of our own selves, but fully relying on God to will and to do of His good pleasure may we all work out our own salvation.

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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated July, 2020.

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