Is it possible that one can be a saint and still need to be saved? In writing to folks Paul had already called "saints" he said, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). At issue is a very personal matter — "your own salvation!" They had been saved. They were saints! But salvation is a process, not just a one-time thing. Their salvation might have been nearer than when they first believed, but it was not yet accomplished. And that is true of us!
Eternal salvation requires a life of watching, of struggling, of fighting. "Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it" (1 Cor. 9:24). Each of us should resolve, along with the apostle Paul, to say, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).
There can be no salvation without God, but what God offers man must take. It is never God who withholds salvation. It is always man who robs himself of it.
Salvation is a personal matter between you and God. It must be worked out! Paul gives no justification for the one-sided perversion of the doctrine of grace, according to which "doing is a deadly thing."
Paul even tells us how to go about this working out — with fear and trembling. This has no reference to tormenting misgivings, but an attitude of reverence and awe lest we offend God.
This sense of human responsibility might lead us to despair unless we hear the next word from the apostle Paul, "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
God doesn’t treat us as machines. He deals with us as
moral agents who can say yes or no, but He works in us not only to will, but also to work!
Your salvation is a personal matter, but you have the grace and power of God to help you attain it! Blessed be His name!
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