Thursday, April 12, 2018
Philippians 2:12 …continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
1 Corinthians 9:24 – 27 24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
One of the most necessary choices I need to make is also one of the most hated things I could ever choose to do. I need to work out. I need to get in shape. I’m afraid I won’t even be able to walk around 18 holes of golf this summer. I need to go into strict training. I need to force myself to get on the treadmill every morning and walk a couple of miles, gradually working up to being able to run again. But I hate running, and I have a lot of other things to do that are far more important to me than working out.
Last night I discovered some motivation. I realized that I have now reached an age where it is slightly possible that I have the potential to shoot my age on the golf course. But to do that, I need to be more flexible than I am right now, and in better physical condition so I don’t get tired as the round progresses. I am going to start working out…tomorrow.
Let’s talk about working out for a moment. Working out implies that you already have some raw material with which to work. My raw material has become weak and much of it has taken up residence around my middle. But I still have all the physical capacity to get in shape. I still have all my bones, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles – it’s just that they don’t function quite the way they were designed to function. When I start to work out I will not be working to create new bones or new muscles, but to fulfill the design of the original ones.
Paul says that we are to work out our salvation. He does not say that we are to work for our salvation – that would be like me working for a new body. No, I already have a body. In the same way, we already have spiritual life. We received it the moment we repented of our sin and asked for the forgiveness available in the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross. In an instant, we were born again and our spirits were made in the likeness of Jesus Christ. We were given all the raw material necessary to live Godly lives and serve the King.
Look at what the Apostle Peter says in his second letter to the Christian church:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3 – 4
We did not work for any of this. It was by His divine power and His call, for His glory, that it was done. But just as God was responsible for the work of our salvation, we are responsible for the working of it. We need to get in spiritual shape.
There is an opponent who wants to ruin our spiritual lives. It’s time we get motivated and start working out our salvation so that every spiritual bone, ligament and muscle is finely tuned to experience consistent victory. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start. Do it now! The fact that you have taken the time to read this shows that you are serious and have already started.