The Working of Faith
“work out your own salvation with
fear and trembling…”
The Working of Faith
Paul sets before us the essential ingredient of a living faith. Faith is not a belief in something; faith brings us into our own participation in His salvation. In our day a social gospel has alleviated (and even dismissed) the necessity for us to “work out” the depth and wonder of our salvation, but those who have been captured by a love for Him will respond to the movements of His grace within.
“For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
The truth of our relationship with God is evident in the fervor and diligence of a life lived in the “fear of the Lord”. We are cognizant that the depth of our desire to please Him and walk with Him is purely the fruit of grace moving us to “work out” our salvation through the obedience of faith. There are many who feel no inclination or desire for this temper of heart. This deadly attitude is evidence of a life alienated from the life of God (Eph. 4:18). Apathy is the result of spiritual detachment.
“But I have this against you:
You have departed from (left) your first love”
People do not lose their first (pre-eminent) love; they leave it! The words may remain but the “working out” of their salvation diminishes into the lethargy of lukewarm living.
“Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”
2 Timothy 3:5
People do not lose the inherent power of godliness; they deny it! They become satisfied with a form (Greek definition: a mere semblance) of godliness. They deny it by an aversion to the bearing of their own cross. They have a love of words, doctrines, and religious statements, but no power or ability to impart to others its wonder nor the ability to overcome the lusts of the flesh and the compromise with things of this ever-darkening world.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”
It is in our own involvement in the cross of Christ that the world is crucified unto us and we are crucified unto it. It is one thing for us to quote such scriptures but quite another to carry our own cross, where the power of the Crucified One becomes ours by our identification with Him.
Those who rely on religious forms and the pretense of godliness may find comfort in knowing the scriptures while failing to know the power of Him within to “work out their OWN salvation with fear and trembling”.
Discipleship is the voluntary surrender of our lives unto God. The working in of His Life is evident in those who “cherish” the rugged cross and the consequences of His Life arising from their submission.
“If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily…”
“IF” is one of the weightiest words of the New Covenant of grace. It is the fulcrum upon which the hope of eternity rests. The faithful “work out” their OWN salvation with fear and trembling. The faithful tremble because they know there remains no excuse for apathy or indifference. Those in whom His Spirit is working “to will and to do” have nothing to boast about except the unmerited grace of God.
His invitation is our call.
“IF any man will come after me…”
Related Article: The Quest and the Cost
The Working of faith
is revealed in accomplishing His Will in our lives