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Cultivate Your Salvation

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When we cultivate our salvation, we have to be very careful because it is God who is working in all of us.

Mrs. Boundy always had bug-eaten roses. She loved the blooms but despised the work it took to get them budding and blooming. Salvation is like a rose bush, it needs cultivating. Cultivation is talked about in Philippians 2:12-13. Sadly these are commonly misunderstood verses.

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; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Phil 2:12-13)

The phrase "work out" gives an impression in the modern world that it would not have given in the ancient world. When a person was working in the ancient world, they were normally working in a garden or a field. So the words "work out" usually means "cultivate". When we cultivate we take care of what we have, while "working out" sounds like we have some responsibility to create our salvation.

When we cultivate our salvation, we have to be very careful because it is God who is working in all of us. The "you" in the passage is plural and so as God works in all of us we have to be careful to nurture and cultivate what he is doing in all of our lives.

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