The question in this podcast clip comes from Philippians 2:13 where Paul says: “work out your own salvation,” a phrase that implies a personal and active engagement in one’s spiritual journey rather than a passive or complacent attitude towards faith and salvation.
In the clip, Pastor Sheffer responds that “working out” one’s salvation does not mean working for salvation, as salvation itself is not earned through works. Instead, it suggests a continuous process of living out one’s faith with dedication and vigilance. Faith without works is a dead faith.
The phrase “with fear and trembling” that follows “work out your own salvation” is interpreted not as a literal fear but as a call to stay reverent and respectful towards God. Christians should be alert and circumspect, aware of spiritual dangers and the consequences of sin, which can lead to a lack of fruitfulness in one’s spiritual life, damaged testimonies, and negatively impact on others.
While it is God who draws individuals to Himself and sustains them, believers are encouraged to actively participate in this divine relationship. This involves engaging in the ‘means of grace’ – practices like hearing the Word, being led by the Holy Spirit, and sincere prayer. These practices are not just formalities but are vital in fostering a genuine relationship with God, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through believers.
Overall, the discussion underscores God’s sovereignty in salvation and the believer’s responsibility to actively live out their faith, remaining vigilant and dedicated in their spiritual walk.