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What Does It Mean To Work Out Your Salvation - Part 1

In this message outline, we examine from Philippians 2:12-13 and what does it mean to work our your salvation.

Philippians 2:12-13 - Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but so much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.


Paul Address this to Christians - Philippians 1:1-2 - Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This command to work out your salvation is a statement made to Christians.


Some might think that is a contradiction, notice Paul didn’t say, work for your

salvation, but work out your salvation. The Bible is very clear.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not

of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one should boast.

Christians are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:5-6 - not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to

His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the

Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our


Salvation is NOT something that can be earned. Grace is not based on what

someone does. There is nothing a person can do to make/convince God to save

them. We cannot work our way into eternal life, heaven, or God’s favor.

So what does “work out your salvation” mean? Why does God give us this command in scripture?

To understand this more, we need to understand what happens when we are


When God created us, He created us with/in three parts. Spirit – Soul – Body

1 Thessalonians 5:23 - May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I

pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto

the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we are born again - 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he

is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become


Question - What part of us becomes a new creation when we are saved? It's the inward man—our spirit—that becomes a new creature in Christ. As Titus says, when we are saved the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ) comes into our lives for a washing (cleansing) of rebirth and the renewal (coming to life) by the Holy Spirit, who is poured out (lives in us) because of what Christ has done.

1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body (body of

Christ, Church, His bride), whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves

or free, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit.


How do we know the body is not renewed? For one it dies. But let's look further.

Colossians 3:1-5 - If you then were raised with Christ, desire those things which

are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on

things above, not on things on earth. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hidden

with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall

appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death the parts of your earthly

nature: sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desire, and

covetousness, which is idolatry.

Verse 1 – says if you then were raised with Christ (this is someone who is saved). They

have experienced being born again in Christ. To confirm this we can see in verse 3

– for you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ.

He then says in Verse 5 – because of this – put to death the parts of your earthly


So we are saved, but we also have a part of us (body) that is still part of this natural

earthly world. Paul says here to bring that part of us into a place of subjection,

even counting it as dead so that these fleshly activities (sexual immortality,

uncleanness, evil desires, etc) would have no part in us.

Galatians 5:24 - Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions

and lusts.

Our body still has at times passions and lusts that try to rise up and take over.

What we are supposed to do is crucify the flesh (kill it). One day that will change.

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last

trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we

shall be changed. For this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal will

put on immortality.

When this happens there will come a transformation (salvation) of our body.

Today we still have this body (corruptible) which wants to do it’s own thing at

times. Now that is not an excuse to sin, we are still called to be and live holy, but

this has to worked out in us at this time.

SOUL - Intellectual, brain, emotional realm

James 1:19-21 - Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear,

slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for the anger of man does not work the

righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and remaining

wickedness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save

your souls.

James makes a distinction between our soul and spirit. We can see our spirits are

saved or recreated, but in this verse we see that our souls still need work.

If not, we wouldn't harbor unforgiveness, sinful attitudes, hate, divisions, be caught with unhealthy thoughts. Our mind and emotional life needs to be changed.

2 Corinthians 10:5 - casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts

itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the

obedience of Christ,

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are

honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are

lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is

any praise, think on these things.

Why aren't our souls saved when we are born again? Because the new birth is a

spiritual birth.

Because all things have not become new in your body or soul in the new birth,

there is this earthly nature to deal with. As long as you are in your body, you will

have the desires of the earthly nature and the natural soul to control.

It is in this area where Satan tries to attack us, deceive us, and destroy us.

When we live from our mind (soul) or body (flesh) (meaning they are in control) we

will get into lots of trouble because those things only lead us to astray. We are to

live out of our spirit (our spirit connect and yielded to the Holy Spirit) so that our

mind and body have to listen to what God’s Spirit is saying.

Interesting here - James is saying that the Word of God is the only thing that will

save our soul—his mind, will, and emotions. James tells us that receiving the

engrafted word will save their souls.

What does the Bible mean by the "engrafted" Word?

The word "engrafted" means to implant. The word "engrafted" carries the idea of a

seed rooting itself and causing growth. So the Word of God implanted or engrafted

into the soul of man has the ability and the power to change or "save" man's soul.

If this has blessed you, please share this message with others.

Podcast of Pastor Chad Fisher

Also available on audio podcast.



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