Bible Reading: Philippians 2:11-16
Memory verse: Mark 7:13, “Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
A religious mindset will blind us to truths in scripture. This is why the church has become powerless and at the mercy of circumstances. Take for example, Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you 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; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
Many have interpreted this to mean “working for your eternal salvation” and in a fearful way so as not to make a mistake and miss eternity with Christ.
If you look at the whole chapter, it doesn’t imply that. It started by talking about having the mind of Christ and learning from His submission and obedience to the will of God, this resulted in His being exalted. It is a scripture that encourages us to allow God to work obedience in us, so that we can shine as light in a dark world.
Also consider the meaning of the word “salvation”. This refers to everything Jesus obtained on the cross. He defeated the power of sin, hell, poverty, and everything the devil represents. Work out means making effective use of what has been put in you. When we workout, we exercise muscles instead of leaving them redundant. Fear and trembling should deal with respect, putting great value on what God has invested in you. It is not self-effort to make sure you make heaven, but surrender so He can make you willing to do of His good pleasure. Our good testimony will win people to Christ.