How To Work Out Your Salvation

A person professing to be a Christian who has not changed their attitude and behavior after accepting Christ is not a Christian.  To become a Christian the Bible states one must repent of their sins and begin a new spiritual direction.  Becoming a Christian requires change.  That progress may be rapid or gradual.  But without change you will continue to live as the world lives and that is not scripturally acceptable.  The process of working out one’s salvation must begin immediately, once a person has asked for forgiveness and accepted Christ as their Savior.

II Philippians 2:12 – 13 – “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

We must emphasize we are not to work for our salvation as it comes from God’s grace and is a gift not something that we can earn.  Believing one can work for their salvation has caused many to live a chaotic life.  That becomes a form of legalism which so many believers try to promote.  We must never believe that making a mistake or having sinned will prevent us from entering heaven.  Salvation will not make us perfect and the Bible teaches that our sins, past and future have been forgiven.  However, working out one’s salvation does require commitment and determination to persistently live to please God.

We are to guard against what the world teaches and not be influenced by its temporary pleasures that we know are wrong.  The love of power, money, fame or sexual lusts can cause a Christian continual frustration.  We must not deliberately sin.  We will have enough problems with “missing the mark” or “sin by omission”.

We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  We must work with reverence and doing so seriously.  Becoming a Christian may be easy but living a Christian life is not so easy.

I Peter 5:8 – 11 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power forever and ever. Amen!”

Lions attack the young, sick, those struggling and animals who are not alert or who are alone.  The time to be most aware of Satan is when we feel persecuted or suffering.

Don’t allow fears to distract you from pleasing God in your attitude and behavior.  There are no shortcuts to working out one’s salvation.  We must just be careful in what we believe and in how we live.  We must continue to be cautious and focus our attention and devotion onto Christ.  God does not expect us to work out our salvation on our own.  If you try you could become frustrated and discouraged as I have seen a number of Christians try to do.  If your temperament is being a perfectionist you could become depressed very easily.  Satan will bombard you with doubts and temptations regularly.  We cannot allow him to question our salvation and our faith.

I believe a part of working out one’s salvation is receiving the Holy Spirit.  Most believe the Holy Spirit comes automatically once a person accepts Christ as their Savior.  I do not.  We may receive salvation in our head but not into our heart.  Acts 8:14 – 17 – “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.  When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 13:3 – 8 – “Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’” The parable is about people accepting Christ as their Savior.   Did they all receive the Holy Spirit or just the ‘seeds’ who were planted in good soil?

I have seen too many Christians struggling because they did not receive the ‘power’ to overcome their sinful natures that the Holy Spirit provides.  Many are continually discouraged and wary.  They live in constant worry and fear that they will not have enough money to meet their debts, or concerned about their job, their families, health, politics, etc.  Their lives are in a continual state of stress.  The Bible tells us that once we receive the Holy Spirit we will have God’s help in everything we do.  Why don’t they have the peace and joy that God promises?  This is why I believe working out our salvation includes making sure that we receive the Holy Spirit to assist us through every phase of life and every problem we will ever encounter.  God knew we could not please Him on our own.  Therefore, He will give us the Holy Spirit to guide us in the working out of our salvation.  We are required to read the Bible and put into practice what we are taught and inspired to do, by Scripture and the Holy Spirit that lives within us.  Do not let Satan or his emissaries cheat you out of your faith and let you fail to receive the Holy Spirit.

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