“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye 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.” Philippians 2:12
As a youth pastor, there are a few things that I was in the habit of doing, or saying, that most teens, who have been in my youth group for any length of time, are familiar with. One such “habit” is, when we would be eating in a restaurant, and it was time for us to leave, I would say, “Let’s roll potatoes!” That was/is my way of saying, “Let’s get busy! We’ve got places to go, people to see, and things to do!”
In much the same way, the Apostle Paul, in this passage of Scripture, was challenging the Philippian Christians to “get busy.” He had just finished prepping them:
- “Strive together for the faith of the Gospel” (Phil. 1:27)
- “As you strive together, you are going to need to incorporate the mind of Christ into your own lives so pride does not derail you from your goal.” (Phil. 2:5)
- “With that being said, ‘Let’s get busy!’” (Phil. 2:12)
In that verse we come to a very interesting verse. This phrase needs our attention so that we might get a proper understanding of it. That phrase is “work out your own salvation.”
This phrase does not refer to a “works salvation” – that you must do something in order to earn salvation.