Tag Archives: gift of God

God Working in Us Unto Obedience

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi_2:12-13)
We have been considering from various perspectives the great truth that God wants us to grow in obedience to His will. The lordship of Jesus makes disobedience unacceptable. “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? ” (Luk_6:46). Also, our Lord taught His early disciples to be instructing all future disciples concerning obedience: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mat_28:20). Our present passage offers profound insight on this matter by describing God working in us unto obedience. “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
This subject is introduced by a call to “work out your own salvation.” Notice, we are not called to work for our salvation. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace, freely received by faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph_2:8-9). Still, this gift of salvation that God has placed within us by His grace is to be worked out (developed outwardly) unto an obedient life, a life that fulfills “His good pleasure.”
This calling is to be approached in “fear and trembling.” Initially, our temptation may be to approach this request with unabashed self-confidence. Eventually, we begin to understand that we must respond in “fear” [a reverential awe] and “trembling” (a profound sense of inadequacy). The next phrase explains why we are to engage this responsibility with such unusual attitudes: “for it is God who works in you.” If the salvation that God has placed in our inner man is to ever become a visible walk that pleases Him, it will always be a result of us allowing Him to do an ongoing work deep within us. “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts . . . you are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (Jer_31:33 and 2Co_3:3). This is the wonder of true Christian living. It is based upon God working within our hearts.
Dear Lord, I praise You for the precious gift of salvation You have poured into my heart. I earnestly desire that this gift be worked outwardly unto a life that is pleasing to You. Lord, please touch and shape the depths of my heart that I may obey You in all things, in Jesus name, Amen.

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God Saves by Grace

moz-screenshot-1.pngEphesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8, 9.
If my home ever catches fire, there are a few things I expect to happen. Since I live 1.2 miles from the nearest fire station, I expect a first responder to arrive within minutes. Because I also know the heart and passion of our first responders, I expect them to ferociously attack the fire to put it out as soon as possible. Most important though, I expect that every effort will be made to rescue my family from danger. Firefighters exist to save lives and when we are in life-threatening situations, they are willing to put their own lives on the line to give us what we need most—rescue.
Imagine the uproar that would occur if a first responder came to my burning home and refused to help me or my family until I first paid him money or promised to pay him in some way. Would that be right? Certainly, our first responders are worthy of pay, but, in the heat of the moment, we would not be making arrangements, but all effort would be placed on rescue. In reality, no compensation would ever be able to repay the first responders who would save my family’s life.
Because of sin, every human being is born destined for hell, and because of pride, many human beings try to negotiate a compromise with God for rescue, even as flames lick their feet. Salvation is not a negotiation we enter into before we die. Salvation is a gift from God that we receive on His terms, by His grace. God is a God of rescue; that is what He does. We cannot earn salvation or repay Him for deliverance. We can only love Him and serve Him because of who He is.

Have you received God’s gift of salvation?

Mark Clements

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