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Will work for Salvation

Categories: Pastor's Pen

When I was a teenager and about to start my first summer job, my father gave me this advice, ‘stay busy, look busy, and show some initiative’. It was good advice.  Of course, we all know people who have, what I call, an initiative deficiency.

Martin was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the job center he was offered work at the local Zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the Zoo-keeper aware of his reputation told him to take care of the turtle section. Some-time later, the keeper dropped by to see how Martin was getting on and found him standing by an empty enclosure. “Where are the turtles?” he asked him. “I can’t believe it” said Martin “I just opened the door and theelim_sermons_joyInTheJourney_slide_blankn…..Whooooosh!”

We are working our way through the New Testament book of Philippians. And this week we come to a verse that, on the surface, seems confusing. The Apostle Paul writes in verse 12 of Philippians chapter 2,

 . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

And, this is the same person, who wrote,

 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

On the surface, it seems like Paul is contradicting himself. What does Paul mean when he calls us to work out our salvation?  And why should there be fear and trembling?

Why don’t you join us on Sunday morning at 11:00 am to learn more?  A warm welcome and a hot coffee await.

Pastor Russell
Author: Pastor Russell

Pastor Russell is currently serving as the Lead Pastor at Elim Pentecostal Tabernacle. You can follow him on Twitter at @rgbartlett.