Your Daily Dose: Faith + Works?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Say it isn’t so, Paul! I thought I was living under grace but now you tell me to work? What’s the deal with that? Am I saved by grace apart from works or do I need to work on it as well?
Paul is not telling us to work to gain our salvation, but rather, work to engage and utilize our salvation in order to follow God in the good works He has for us to do. Far too many Christians in America “check off the salvation box” and then go back to a lot of godless living like a dog returns to it’s vomit (Prov. 26:11). Paul issues a strong warning to hold on to our “fear and trembling” with respect to a Holy God while “working out your salvation” because it is such a valuable gift!
If our living does match the call of our Savior then we SHOULD question our salvation. How could such an amazing gift result in such a tepid response in the way we choose to obey our Savior? That’s why James offers such a strong exhortation when he says that “faith without works is dead,” or in other words, worthless.
If you are saved then you have been given a gift of inestimable value…and your life should reflect that fact. Grab hold of your salvation and work it out, baby! God is at work in you to accomplish His Master Plan so go with it! When you do, your life will never be the same.