Philippians 2:12,13 - Work Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling.

Phi.2:12,13; Work Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling. 

Phil 2:12 (KJV)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always 
obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, 
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 
Phil 2:13 (KJV)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will 
and to do of his good pleasure. 

There are three aspects of the believer's salvation: (1) past 
(justification), (2) present (sanctification), and (3) future (glorification). 
[New Bible Companion] 

Work out. used here in the sense of "to carry out to 
completion." This does not endorse the idea of salvation by works. We are 
saved by grace, through faith. But this grace leads us to good works. 
Thus, such works are the outworking of the grace that has effected our 
salvation. Many are attracted to the Christian way, but are unwilling to 
meet the conditions by which the reward of the Christian may be 
theirs. If they could gain salvation without effort on their part, they 
would be more than happy to receive all that the Lord might give them. 
But the Scriptures teach that each individual must cooperate with 
the will and power of God. One must "strive to enter in", "put off 
the old man", "lay aside every weight," "run with patience", "resist 
the devil", and "endure unto the end". Salvation is not of works, 
but it must be worked out. It springs from the mediation of Christ 
alone, but it is lived out by personal cooperation. While we cannot be 
too deeply conscious of our entire dependence on the merits, the 
work, and the power of Christ, we must also be aware of our personal 
obligation to live daily, by God's grace, a life consistent with the 
principles of Heaven. [SDA Commentary] 

Many are inquiring, "How am I to make the surrender of myself to 
God?" You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral 
power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life 
of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You 
cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The 
knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your 
confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot 
accept you; but you need not despair. What you need to understand is 
the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the 
nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends 
on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given 
to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you 
cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to 
serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to 
will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature 
will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your 
affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with 
Him.  SC47 

The power to will and the power to act must necessarily come 
from God, who is the author both of the soul and body, and of all 
their powers and energies, but the act of volition and the act of 
working come from the man. God gives power to will, man wills through 
that power; God gives power to act, and man acts through that power. 
Without the power to will, man can will nothing; without the power to 
work, man can do nothing. God neither wills for man, nor work's in 
man's stead, but he furnishes him with power to do both; he is 
therefore accountable to God for these powers.... the power to will and do 
comes from GOD; the use of that power belongs to man. (Adam Clarke 

The victory is not won without much earnest prayer, without the 
humbling of self at every step. Our will is not to be forced into 
co-operation with divine agencies, but it must be voluntarily submitted. Were 
it possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater intensity 
the influence of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a 
Christian, a fit subject for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be 
broken. The will must be placed on the side of God's will. You are not 
able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations 
into submission to the will of God; but if you are "willing to be 
made willing," God will accomplish the work for you, even "casting 
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against 
the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to 
the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will "work 
out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which 
worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." MB142,3 

Wherever there is the submissive mind, there will be sacrifice 
and service. . . . The secret? Christians allow God to work in them. 
The flesh cannot "work up" humility or dedication; this must come 
from within by the power of the Spirit. God works in us before He 
works through us, and He uses the Word, the Spirit, and prayer. 
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Fear and trembling. Paul is not advocating a slavish terror, but 
a wholesome self-distrust. The Christian should fear lest his will 
not be continually surrendered to Christ, or lest the carnal traits 
of character should control the life. He must fear to trust his own 
strength, to withdraw his hand from the hand of Christ, or to attempt to 
walk the Christian pathway alone. Such fear leads to vigilance 
against temptation, to humility of mind, to taking heed lest we fall. 
[SDA Commentary] 

Fear and trembling. Considering the difficulty of the work, and 
the danger of miscarriage. If you do not watch, pray and continually 
depend on God, your enemies will surprise you, and your light and life 
will become extinct; and then consider what an awful account you must 
give to him whose Spirit ye have grieved, and of whose glory ye have 
come short. (Adam Clarke Commentary) 

It is not the fear and trembling which drives us to hide from 
God, but rather the fear and trembling which drives us to seek God, 
in the certainty that without his help we cannot effectively face 
life. It comes, second, from a horror of grieving God. When we really 
love a person, we are not afraid of what he may do to us; we are 
afraid of what we may do to him. The Christian's great fear is of 
crucifying Christ again. [Barclay Commentary] 

The Father in heaven is so interested in His child, and so longs 
to have his life in step with His will and His love, that He is 
willing to keep the child's guidance entirely in His own hand.  He knows 
so well that we do not do what is really holy and heavenly, except 
when He works it in us, that He intends His very demands to become 
promises of what He will do, in watching over and leading us all day 
long.  We may count on Him to teach us His way and show us His path 
not only in special trials and hard times, but in everyday 
So simple and delightful can it become to a soul that has 
practiced waiting on God, to walk all day in the enjoyment of God's light 
and leading.  What is needed to help us find such a life is one 
thing: the real knowledge and faith of God as the only source of wisdom 
and goodness as always ready and longing to be to us all that we can 
possibly need.  Yes, this is the one thing we need.  [Andrew Murray; Time 
with God devotional SB]