“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” – Philippians 2:12
A misunderstanding and misuse of this verse has brought many people into feeling like they are supposed to be afraid of God and that it’s up to ourselves to “work out” or work for our salvation.The word translated as “work out” in the Greek is KATERGAZOMAI. According to the Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, it means “‘to carry to its ultimate conclusion”. Understand and bring this great salvation to it’s ultimate conclusion!
Fully engage with what happened on the cross and see it play out in it’s full reality! This is the point…not your working for it..
When we read the rest of the sentence in verse 13 we see that “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” He even makes this come to pass, from beginning to end.
Yes, Tony, but what about the ‘fear and trembling’ part?
The Amplified Bible translates ‘fear and trembling’ as ‘reverence and awe’. It is also translated as “awe and self-distrust”, don’t trust in your own ability to save yourself, trust that he already did! God has saved us singlehandedly, we should be in awe of such a great salvation, not in fear that we may lose it if we don’t do enough stuff. We must remember, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18) Many have used this verse to make people fear if they are really even saved and then put it on the people’s shoulders to make sure they work it out themselves, and that they should fear not being saved. This is nonsense.
Jesus is the savior of the world, carry out this fact to it’s ultimate conclusion, and let it inspire awe and wonder in your heart!
By Tony Seigh
Hesitant to post this but I’m gonna. We have a tendency to put heaven and God out there in space or in the future. We do the same wuth our identity too. We have been so conditioned to see ourselves a s a work in progress. We live in the physical world and strive to peak into the spiritual realm.
Sing these songs in your head. “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary….” or “Purify my heart, let me be as gold…..” or ” Take me into the holybof holies…..” do you see the pattern. We have set God and his goodness as a target in the future. We have looked at our salvation and sanctification in the same manner. In order to get a true picture of who we are and what our destiny is we must go back to Genesis. In the 26th and 27th verse in chapter 1, it says:
26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.…
God created us (all of us) in His being prior to the making of dirt. He knew us before Adam walked the physical earth. I believe God is outside of time and space. With this in mind there is no distance or delay in what God has orchestrated. Before time He already saw Adam, Jesus, and the end. We were co-crucified, co-buried, co-ressurected, and set into co-heirs (sonship) before dirt. He has forgiven us and the only view he has of us is forgiven and his sons and daughters.
We were his creation his children from before time. Through the finished work of the cross we are full heirs. Mankind has been walking in a delusion or a fog if you will. Once that fog is lifted we can see our original identity. Our blueprint is His identity. We are made in His likeness and image. Through realignment of our mindset or un veiling we can walk with the knowledge of who we originally were (His sons and daughters).
He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about mankind! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. (The implications of the fall are completely cancelled out. Paul uses the word, katabalo, meaning “to fall away, to put in a lower place,” instead of themelios, meaning “foundation” [see 2:20]; thus, translated “the fall of the world,” instead of “the foundation of the world,” as in most other translations. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! We are presented in blameless innocence before him! The word, katenopion, suggests the closest possible proximity, face-to-face!)
He is not an example for is but of us. Throughout the New Testament Paul speaks of being found in Him. 2 Corinthians 3 tells of the veil and how by looking into a mirror we see our true and present identity. In the mirror we see Christ in us. The separation of the physical and spiritual is a deception. He is closer than a brother, closer than the air we breathe.
Deception of Separation
I read this, this morning. Francois Du Toit had posted it on Facebook. Where are you getting your identity? Is it an accurate identity or a skewed one? If it is not founded on God’s definition of you it probably is skewed.
People are not born Christians, yet every person ever born comes from God! God says in Jer 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb!”
We are God’s idea: we began in God! We are born into a world where we are bombarded with many diverse cultural and traditional mindsets, most of which directly stems from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil system, which is the fallen mindset system which says you are not…you have to strive to become! People who do gross things do it from believing a lie about themselves and not knowing the truth of their incredible design as image bearers of God! James says in Js 3:9, We can say beautiful things about God the Father but with the same mouth curse a man made in his mirror likeness. The point is not what the man did to deserve the curse! A doctor doesn’t slap his patient and command him to stop coughing! You may have the flu but you never become the flu!
True worship is to touch someone’s life with the same devotion and care you would touch Jesus himself; even if the other person seems a most unlikely candidate.
Multitudes of people are living in the darkness of ignorance, not knowing the truth of the integrity of their design and their redeemed value and innocence! The adventure of the Christian life is to declare what we have discovered to be true about every single person! Jesus says that when we discover that the son of man is indeed the son of God then the gates of hades (not to see) will crumble and the prisoners of darkness will be free to discover themselves in him!
Truth does not invite dispute, doctrine does!Truth awakens resonance!
1 You are in fact raised together with Christ! Now ponder with persuasion the consequence of your co-inclusion in him. Relocate yourselves mentally! Engage your thoughts with throne room realities where you are co-seated with Christ in the executive authority of God’s right hand.
2 Becoming affectionately acquainted with throne room thoughts will keep you from being distracted again by the earthly (soul-ruled) realm. (Set your minds upon the things that are above and not upon the things below! See note on Rom 1:18, the word katecho, to echo downwards is the opposite to anoche, to echo upwards, Rom 2:4 and Rom 3:26. Also 2 Cor 4:18 We are not keeping any score of what seems so obvious to the senses in the natural realm, it is fleeting and irrelevant; it is the unseen eternal realm within us that has our full attention and captivates our gaze! A renewed mind conquers the space that was previously occupied by worthless pursuits and habits.)
3 Your union with his death broke the association with that world; see yourselves located in a fortress where your life is hidden with Christ in God! (“In that day you will know that I am in my father, and you in me and I in you.” [Jn 14:20] Occupy your mind with this new order of life; you died when Jesus died, whatever defined you before defines you no more. Christ, in whom the fullness of deity dwells, defines you now! The word, “hidden” can also be translated, secret; the secret of your life is your union with Christ in God! [See Col 2:9, 10] “Risen, then, with Christ you must lift your thoughts above where Christ now sits at the right hand of God, you must be heavenly minded; not earthly minded, you have undergone death, and your life is hidden away now with Christ in God. Christ is your life, when he is made manifest you are made manifest in his glory.” — Knox Translation)
4 The exact life on exhibit in Christ is now repeated in us. We are being co-revealed in the same bliss; we are joined in oneness with him, just as his life reveals you, your life reveals him! (This verse was often translated to again delay the revelation of Christ to a future event! The word, otan, often translated as “when” is better translated as “every time.” Thus, “Every time Christ is revealed we are being co-revealed in his glory.” According to Walter Bauer Lexicon, otan is often used of an action that is repeated. Paul declares our joint-glorification in Christ! We are co-revealed in the same bliss. [See 1 Cor 2:7-8, Rom 3:23-24, Rom 8:30, 2 Pet 1:3.] In him we live and move and have our being; in us he lives and moves and has his being! [Acts 17:28])
5 Consider the members of your body as dead and buried towards everything related to the porn industry, sensual uncleanness, longing for forbidden things, lust and greed, which are just another form of idol worship. (Idol worship is worshipping a distorted image of yourself!
6 These distorted expressions are in total contradiction to God’s design and desire for your life. (The sentence, “upon the sons of unbelief” was added later in some manuscripts.)
7 We were all once swept along into a lifestyle of lust and greed.
8 But now, because you realize that you co-died and were co-raised together with Christ, you can flush your thoughts with truth! Permanently put these things behind you: things such as violent outbursts of rage, depression, all manner of wickedness, slander (any attempt to belittle someone else and to cause someone to receive a bad reputation, blasphemos), and every form of irregular conversation. (The lifelong association with sin is broken; the dominion of the character of God is revealed again in ordinary life.)
9 That old life was a lie, foreign to our design! Those garments of disguise are now thoroughly stripped off us in our understanding of our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. We are no longer obliged to live under the identity and rule of the robes we wore before, neither are we cheating anyone through false pretensions. (The garments an actor would wear define his part in the play but cannot define him.)
10 We stand fully identified in the new creation renewed in knowledge according to the pattern of the exact image of our Creator.
11 The revelation of Christ in us gives identity to the individual beyond anything anyone could ever be as a Greek or a Jew, American or African, foreigner or famous, male or female, king or pawn. From now on everyone is defined by Christ; everyone is represented in Christ. (In seeing him not just recorded in history but revealed in us, we discover the face of our birth as in a mirror! [Jas 1:18])
12 You are the product of God’s love; he restored you to his original thought. You belong to him exclusively. It is like changing garments. Now that you have gotten rid of the old, clothe yourselves with inner compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, (Just like you were once identified by your apparel, the characteristics of these qualities define you now.)
13 upholding one another in positive expectation. If anyone finds fault with another, restore that person to favor, remembering how the Lord’s forgiveness has transformed our lives.
14 Wear love like a uniform; this is what completes the picture of our oneness.
15 Appoint the peace of Christ as umpire in your hearts. We are all identified in the same person; there is only one body. We are born to be a blessing and exhibit his benevolence.
16 Christ is the language of God’s logic. Let his message sink into you with unlimited vocabulary, taking wisdom to its most complete conclusion. This makes your fellowship an environment of instruction in an atmosphere of music. Every lesson is a reminder, echoing in every song you sing, whether it be a psalm (raving about God in praise and worship accompanied by musical instruments) or a hymn (a testimony song) or a song in the spirit (a new spontaneous prophetic song). Grace fuels your heart with inspired music to the Lord.
17 Your every conversation and the detail of your daily conduct reflect him; his name and lordship define your lives and inspire your deep gratitude to God the Father for his grace.
18 His peace is the umpire of your every relationship, especially in the family! Wives, place yourselves in the intimate care of your husbands, acknowledging the lordship of Christ in them.
19 Husbands, love your wives tenderly. Do not exasperate them.
20 Children, you display the Christ-life in the way you respond to your parents, keep them glowing with joy, they reflect God’s delight in you. (“Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.” — The Message.)
21 Parents are responsible for the atmosphere at home; avoid vibes that dampen the child’s spirit.
22 If you are employed by someone, even having to work like a slave, remember your hearts are intertwined in devotion to God. Don’t just look busy when you are being watched, show the same diligence behind your bosses back.
23 Whatever you do, picture Christ in the person you are doing it for; it makes such a difference when you put your heart into it.
24 God is no man’s debtor; you are employed under the Lordship of Christ.
25 To live contrary to the life of your design is to injure yourself; your job description does not define you, it doesn’t matter who you are. Unrighteousness carries its own consequence and it is not a respecter of persons.
by Mirror Bible – mobile app. http://www.mirrorbible.com
1 The fact that I am in prison does not in the least diminish my awareness that I am in Christ! My complete existence is defined and confined in him. The detail of your day-to-day life flows from the consciousness of your true identity and worth as defined in him. (We are indeed seated together with him in heavenly places! [Gal 2:6] No distraction or contradiction can reduce my life to any other reality. To walk worthy, as axios, meaning having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much. Your calling or vocation, from kaleo, to surname, to identify by name and parakaleo, inspired from within to live the life of your design.)
2 Meekness and tenderness are the fabric of your make-up; this enables you to show compassion even in seemingly impossible situations, eagerly bearing with one another in an environment where love rules.
3 Being vigilant to guard your oneness of spirit. We are prisoners of peace. We confirm the fact that there is only one body; also that there is only one Spirit.
4 We are identified in one expectation (hope); there is no plan B. We bear the same surname. (Called, kaleo, to identify by name, to surname.)
5 We are employed by the same Boss; we share the same faith, and our baptism says the same thing. (There is only one faith! Not what we believe about God but what God believes about us! Baptism declares that we are equally included in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our faith does not invent God; his faith defines us!)
6 There is only one God. He remains the ultimate Father of the universe. We are because he is. He is present in all; he is above all, through all, and in all. (He is not far from each one of us; in him we live and move and have our being. We are indeed his offspring. [Acts 17:24-28])
7 The gift of Christ gives dimension to grace and defines our individual value. (Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. One measure, one worth! Our worth is defined by his gift not by a reward for our behavior.)
8 Scripture confirms that he led us as trophies in his triumphant procession on high; he repossessed his gift (likeness) in man. (See Ephesians 2:6, We are also elevated in his ascension to be equally welcome in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are now seated together with him in his authority. Quote from the Hebrew text, Ps 68:18, lakachta mattanoth baadam, thou hast taken gifts in man, in Adam. [The gifts which Jesus Christ distributes to man he has received in man, in and by virtue of his incarnation. Commentary by Adam Clarke.] We were born anew in his resurrection. 1 Pet 1:3, Hos 6:2)
9 The fact that he ascended confirms his victorious descent into the deepest pits of human despair. (See John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, even the son of man.” All mankind originate from above; we are anouthen, from above [see Jas 1:17, 18].)
10 He now occupies the ultimate rank of authority from the lowest regions where he stooped down to rescue us to the highest authority in the heavens, having executed his mission to the full. (Fallen man is fully restored to the authority of the authentic life of his design. [Ps 139:8].)
11 What God has in us is gift wrapped to the world: some are commissioned to pioneer, others are gifted prophetically, some as announcers of good news, some as shepherds with a real gift to care and nurture, and others have a gift to ignite instruction through revelation knowledge. (Couriers, communicators, counsellors and coaches. — Rob Lacey)
12 Each expression of his gift is to fully equip and enable the saints for the work of the ministry so that they may mutually contribute in their specific function to give definition to the visible body of Christ.
13 The purpose of these ministry gifts is to present everyone on par and in oneness of faith; believing exactly what the Son of God believes and knowing accurately what he knows concerning us. Standing face-to-face in equal stature to the measure of the completeness of Christ. (The word, pleroma, means a life filled to the brim with Christ, like a freight ship carrying its cargo.)
14 The most dangerous life you can live is an ignorant one. You’re left like an infant on a ship out of control in the waves and winds of the storms of life. The fall of the dice dictates while the deceptive teachings of men and their distracting tricks entertain.
15 Love gives truth its voice. The conversation that truth inspires creates the atmosphere wherein growth is both spontaneous and inevitable. The whole person is addressed in Christ who is the head of the body; he is the conclusion of God’s communication with man. (“Speaking the truth in love” is not only the preferred attitude in our every conversation, but the only option; where truth gives integrity to love, and love gives attraction to truth. Love, agape, comes from ago, to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep, and pao, to rest. God’s rest celebrates our perfection; agape is to see the same value that God sees in every person. Truth as it is mirrored in Christ [v 21].)
16 From him flows the original composition and detail of our design like words intertwined in poetry, (like a conductor of music, epichoregeo) they connect layer upon layer to complete the harmony, following the rhythm of his thoughts like footprints. Meanwhile the body thrives and pulsates with the energy of love. Each individual expression finds its complete measure there. (The church is not a dismembered, dysfunctional body, but a fully functional, coordinated lover of people.” — Rob Lacey)
17 My most urgent appeal to you in the Lord is this: you have nothing in common with the folly of the empty-minded masses; the days of conducting your lives and affairs in a meaningless way are over! (The Gentiles, ethnos, the masses of people who are walking in the vanity of their minds.)
18 The life of their design seems foreign to them because their minds are darkened through a hardened heart ruled by ignorance. They are blinded by the illusion of the senses as their only reference, stubbornly wearing a blindfold in broad daylight. (Hardness of heart is the result of a darkened understanding; a mind veiled through unbelief. [See 2 Cor 4:4])
19 Having become conditioned to a life distanced from God; they are calloused in spirit, and are lust and greed driven; they have totally abandoned themselves to outrageous shameless living. (See Rom 1:19-23)
20 Of what total contrast is Christ!
21 It is not possible to study Christ in any other context; he is the incarnation, hear him resonate within you! The truth about you has its ultimate reference in Jesus. (“The truth as it is in Christ.” He did not come to introduce a new compromised set of rules; he is not an example for us but of us!)
22 Now you are free to strip off that old identity like a filthy worn-out garment. Lust corrupted you and cheated you into wearing it. (Just like an actor who wore a cloak for a specific role he had to interpret; the fake identity is no longer appropriate!)
23 Be renewed in your innermost mind! (Pondering the truth about you as it is displayed in Christ) will cause you to be completely reprogrammed in the way you think about yourself! (Notice that Paul does not say, “Renew your minds!” This transformation happens in the spirit of your mind, awakened by truth on a much deeper level than a mere intellectual and academic consent.)
24 Immerse yourself fully into this God-shaped new man from above! You are created in the image and likeness of God. This is what righteousness and true holiness are all about.
25 Faking it and lying to one another was part of the old life; now truth remains the constant inspiration in your every conversation. We are related to one another like different parts in the same body. (Which means that cheating one another would be cheating yourself! Truth only finds context in Christ [v 21])
26 Even if you think you have a valid excuse, do not let anger dominate your day! If you don’t deal with it immediately (in the light of the likeness of Christ in you) the sun sets for you and your day becomes one of lost opportunity where darkness employs anger to snare you into sin.
27 Any sin that you tolerate is an open invitation to the devil. Do not give him a platform to operate from.
28 If you were a thief before, you are one no more. Find an honest job where the fruit of your labor can be a blessing to others!
29 Instead of cheap talk, your mouth is now a fountain of grace, giving encouragement and inspiration to everyone within earshot.
30 The Holy Spirit is your signet ring from God to confirm that you are redeemed to live your life in the light of day; any conduct that belongs to the night grieves him.
31 Take up the strongest possible position against every form of distorted behavior in your own life. Do not allow yourself to be spiteful; outbursts of violent emotion and rage do not become you. You don’t have to shout in order to make your point. People must feel safe in your conversation; therefore, slander and hurtful words (blasphemy) are out!
32 Be inspired by kindness and compassion; your forgiving one another when you might feel irritated and frustrated demonstrates the way God graciously treated us in Christ.
— A Quote by Henri Nouwen in “The Return of the Prodigal Son”
“For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life — pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures — and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.”
“Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’ …The question is not ‘How am I to love God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’”
– Henri J. M. Nouwen, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, p. 106
‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’
‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’
The only action required is to accept the free gift and enter into His rest. I have read that Henri says pray always taken back to its original Hebrew should translatef enter into rest. So if this is true no work is required on our part. That is the same with salvation, righteousness, grace, etc. ALL FREE GIFTS! NO ACTION NEEDED ON OUR PART.
Let God find you. He already provided ALL.
The finished work of the cross.