Philippians 2:12, 13 - Abiding in Christ and Cooperation in the Salvation Process.
Philippians 2:12, 13 - Abiding in Christ and Cooperation in the
Philippians 2:12, 13 (NKJV) Therefore, my beloved, as you 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; for it is
God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:12,13 (AMP) Therefore, my dear ones, as you have
always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm
you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent,
work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your
own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust,
with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against
temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit
the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who
is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and
creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His
good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
These verses must be read together for a proper understanding... A
"works salvation" is not being taught. The idea is to progress to the
finish or completion in spiritual growth and maturity. This process is
what the Bible calls "sanctification." It should be noted that v. 12
makes it clear we are to be active, not passive, in this process.
However, though we are active, we are not alone. Verse 13 reminds us
again that the entire salvation process is the work of a sovereign God
and the result of His grace. "For it is God who works in you" is the
ultimate ground and basis for our salvation. [Believer's SB]
The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing
or the doing. This is our proper work. As soon as we earnestly
enter upon the work, God's grace is given to work in us to will and to
do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be
aroused to cooperate. TM240
Herein is revealed the outworking of the divine principle of
co-operation, without which no true success can be attained. Human effort
avails nothing without divine power; and without human endeavor, divine
effort is with many of no avail. To make God's grace our own, we must
act our part. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do,
but never as a substitute for our effort. PK486 [Remnant SB]
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
(1 Thes. 2:13), the Spirit (Eph. 3:16, 20-21), and prayer. [Wiersbe
Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh there is a
disposition which renders you powerless to do what you know you ought to do.
When the Lord is presented to the conscience, the first thing
conscience does is to rouse the will, and the will always agrees with God.
You say - "But I do not know whether my will is in agreement with
God." Look to Jesus and you will find that your will and your
conscience are in agreement with Him every time. The thing in you which
makes you say "I shan't" is something less profound than your will; it
is perversity, or obstinacy, and they are never in agreement with
God. The profound thing in man is his will, not sin.
Will is the essential element in God's creation of man: sin
is a perverse disposition which entered into man. In a regenerated
man the source of will is almighty. "For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." You have to work
out with concentration and care what God works in; not work your own
salvation, but work it out, while you base resolutely in unshaken faith on
the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you
do not bring an opposed will to God's will, God's will is your
will, and your natural choices are along the line of God's will, and
the life is as natural as breathing. God is the source of your will,
therefore you are able to work out His will. Obstinacy is an unintelligent
'wadge' that refuses to be enlightened; the only thing is for it to be
blown up with dynamite, and the dynamite is obedience to the Holy
Do I believe that Almighty God is the source of my will? God
not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it. [My
Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers]
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him,
and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Thus the world's Redeemer
illustrates the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart. The living
agent, by an act of faith of his own, places himself in the hands of
the Lord for Him to work in him His good pleasure in His time. There
must be a continual exercise of faith to be in Christ and keep in
Christ, abiding by faith in Him.
This is a training process, a constant discipline of the mind
and heart, that Christ shall work His great work in human hearts.
Self, the old natural self, dies, and Christ's will is our will, His
way is our way, and the human agent becomes, with heart, mind, and
intellect, an instrument in the hands of God to work no more wickedness but
the righteousness of Christ...
In the divine arrangement God does nothing without the
cooperation of man. He compels no man's will. That must be given to the Lord
completely, else the Lord is not able to accomplish His divine work that He
would do through the human agency. Jesus declared that in a certain
place He could not do many mighty works among the people because of
their unbelief. He wanted to do for them in that place just what He
knew that they needed to have done, but He could not because unbelief
barred the way. The potter cannot mold and fashion unto honor that
which has never been placed in his hands. The Christian life is one of
daily surrender, submission, and continual overcoming, gaining fresh
victories every day. This is the growing up into Christ, fashioning the
life into the divine Model.
Devotion, piety, and sanctification of the entire man come
through Jesus Christ our righteousness. The love of God needs to be
constantly cultivated. O how my heart cries out to the living God for the
mind of Jesus Christ! I want to lose sight of self. TMK55
I went through a season in life in which I tried to crucify
every desire that entered my heart. I would "take up my cross daily"
and insist that my life be "all of Him and none of me." The problem
was that if He was in me, and I was crucifying everything in me,
then I was attempting to crucify Him. His desires couldn't flourish
If we are filled with the Spirit's Presence, then He is
stirring up many of our dreams and desires. Paul assures us that God is
at work in us both to will and to work for God's pleasure. That
means that He shapes our desires. When we soak in Him and become
saturated with His will, His dreams are imparted to us. He sculpts our
hearts and minds and gives us pictures of our future. When we try to
crucify all our desires, we might be crucifying the very seeds of
inspiration He planted in us. We might undermine His purposes.
Sure, we have to be discerning. Not every whim that pops up
within us comes from God. But many of our deep and lasting visions and
dreams are birthed by His Spirit. Because they are internal, we think
they originated with "self." But if we look at them carefully, we'll
often see how well they fit God's purposes and His design for us. As
with Hannah, who desired a child, God can fulfill a personal dream
and change the history of a nation. He uses our need for fulfillment
to accomplish His purposes.
Lift your desires to God. Pour out your heart to Him. Ask Him
to fulfill the dreams He has planted within you. When His Presence
has planted them there, He will cultivate them until they bear
Lord, I want only Your will, but You have put Your will
within me. Let me dream with You and see those dreams fulfilled. [The
One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
We talk a lot about our own sinfulness and depravity - how
there's nothing good in us, how we want "all of Him and none of me" in
our relationship with God. This is a very humble attitude, of
course, but it isn't very scriptural. Yes, in and of ourselves, we have
no righteousness, but God hasn't left us in that condition, has He?
According to His Word, He has filled us with His Spirit and given us a new
heart. He has transformed us, not replaced us. We were created for a
reason - to partner with Him, not fade out of the picture. And Paul
assures us that it is God who works in us both to will and to act in
order to fulfill His purposes. In other words, there are many desires
inside us that are from Him and many actions we want to do that are
exactly what He wants for us. He has implanted His will and His voice
It's true that we have other desires and voices within us at
times; not everything we think or do is godly. But we are moving in the
direction of godliness if we're growing in Christ and allowing Him to be
the source of our life, and He is rearranging our internal
environment so that we become one with Him.
This is the context for hearing God's voice. There will be
times when we don't know whether it's our own voice or His because our
minds and hearts are being shaped by Him. It is God who is working
within us to desire and to do His will. As long as we have any vestige
of fallen nature, we can't make that truth absolute and say that
it's only God at work within us. But neither can we downplay this
truth. This is God's preferred method for speaking to us: being within
Lord, work powerfully within me to desire and to do Your
will. Let Your thoughts and dreams become my thoughts and dreams. [The
One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
I am the truth: the One who came to set you free. As the Holy
Spirit controls your mind and actions more fully, you become free in
Me. You are increasingly released to become the one I created you to
be. This is a work that I do in you as you yield to My Spirit. I can
do My best handiwork when you sit in the stillness of My Presence,
focusing your entire being on Me.
Let My thoughts burst freely upon your consciousness,
stimulating abundant Life. I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. As you
follow Me. I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never
imagined. Don't worry about what is on the road up ahead. I want you to
find your security in knowing Me, the One who died to set you free.
(Joh. 8:32; Phi. 2:13; Joh. 14:6) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
The admission that we are powerless over an addiction or
compulsive behavior in our lives opens us up to reach out to God. We begin
to understand that he wants to fill our lives with his love, his
joy, his hope, and his presence. That first step turned our eyes away
from ourselves as the source of healing, and the second step turns
our eyes toward God - the One Who can heal us.
If we can't heal ourselves, then who can we turn to for help?
God is the only one who has the power to exchange our chaos for
freedom. Of course, he knew long before we did what would be needed. He
sent Jesus to save us from sin and sickness. He sent his power player
to earth, someone who was tempted as we are in all ways but without
sin. He is not just a higher power. He is the 'highest" power,
because he has conquered all life can dish out. He did that for us so we
could imagine freedom from sin in our own lives.
What freedom it brings to know that when we are powerless, we
have an ally to help us through the hard times - and all the times
are hard, aren't they?
Heavenly Father, I've made such a mess of things. I'm so
grateful that you cared for me and came to show me the way out of chaos
and into freedom. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily
Devotional by John & Johnny Baker]
Every once in a while God gives us the chance to witness a
miracle! Recently, a leader in Celebrate Recovery shared this miracle
"A year ago a man walked into my office, broken, at his wit's
end, with a heart full of despair. He was angry and trying to cope
with a host of substances and other unhealthy habits that were
destroying his mind and hardening his heart. He was ready to abandon his
wife and family. Last night I saw this man again at a Celebrate
Recovery graduation service.
Now, eleven months sober, he is a completely different man.
"With tears in his eyes, he accepted his 12-Step chip and
then expressed his love for his wife who was sitting close by. I was
humbled as I heard him talk about the restoration that had come to his
marriage and how his kids are rejoicing and talking about God. He then
quoted the following Bible passage, changing you to I: 'If I do what is
right, will not I be accepted? But if I do not do what is right, sin is
crouching at my door; it desires to have me, but I must master it.' "
The man I met a year ago is no more. In his place, a new
leader has been born. That's what I call a true miracle - the
transformation of a human life."
Dear God of miracles, I stand in awe of what you have done in
so many lives. My words cannot express your greatness. In Jesus'
name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny
Baker re Gen. 4:7]
As a scrawny teenage girl, I struggled with low self-esteem.
To me, the mirror reflected loneliness and emptiness, not beauty. I
was caught in a web of tension: comparing myself with others,
desiring acceptance from others, and being an overachiever. Music was my
A visiting choir came to my church and performed a song that
chanted a Bible verse: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become
Wow! God was speaking to me in a language I understood. My
soul stirred with a new awareness of his presence. When I looked up
the verse, the words jumped off the page and into my empty heart! I
was thrilled to come to Christ and find his loving acceptance! My
sin-stained self-image was traded for one of peace, one that reflected the
image of a loving God.
Even today, decades later, this precious verse shapes me. I
see myself as a new creation, rejoicing in that promise and future
hope. The Lord - my Creator - continually uses his Word, people, and
events to shape me. My part is to be open to the work of the Master's
Nancy Kay Grace, a speaker and writer, lives in northwest
Arkansas, where her husband, Rick, is a senior pastor. They have been in
church ministry for more than thirty years. [The One Year Bible Live
Verse Devotional re 2Co. 5:17]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
[March 21-26, 2016: Charlotte, NC in person with live streaming
and multiple outreach locations]
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: