The entire link is best to read but here's the highlights:
This means that the link between the cross and my conquered sin is a Holy-Spirit empowered will. Listen to these texts that describe this reality:
- Romans 7:6: “We died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” Iserve in the newness of the Spirit.
- Romans 8:13: “By the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body.” Iput sin to death, by the Spirit.
- Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The life I now live . . . Christ lives in me.
- 1 Peter 4:11: “Whoever serves, let him do it as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” I serve, but in the strength that Godsupplies. And it is a blood-bought supply.
- 1 Corinthians 15:10: “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” Iworked. But it was the grace of God that was working in my working.
“Our will is empowered by another will — the will of the Spirit, of Christ, and of God.”
In every single case, I am working. I am willing. I am serving. I am putting sin to death. My will is engaged. But in every case, my will is empowered by another will, the will of the Spirit, the will of Christ, the will of God, the will of grace.
Work Out Your Salvation
The text that broke through was Philippians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but 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 work for his good pleasure.
I saw three things in a fresh light.
- I saw afresh that the verb, “work out you salvation” (Greek katergazesthe) means produce, or bring about, or effect. And Peter O’Brien in his Philippians commentary sums it up with the phrase “continuous, sustained, strenuous effort.” As dangerous as this language is, it is biblical. “Bring about your salvation.” “Produce your salvation.” “Effect your salvation by continuous, sustained, strenuous, effort.”
I knew that was one key strategy that had given me victory in the area of sexual temptation. So why not in the other sins of my life?
- I saw afresh that the salvation I was to work out was not only the large reality of total deliverance, but also the concrete reality of salvation from anger, and salvation from self-pity, and salvation from blaming, and salvation from sullenness.
So I resolved that I would work out my salvation from these sins. I would bring about deliverance from anger and self-pity and blaming and sullenness.
Fear and Trembling
- And third, I saw afresh the connection between fear and trembling on the one hand and God working in me on the other. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Why should there be fear and trembling
as I attack my sin and bring about salvation from self-pity? The reason given in the text is not a threat. It’s a gift. Work and will to kill your sin, and do it with fear and trembling, because God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, redeemer, justifier, sustainer, Father, lover is so close to you that your working and willing are his working and willing.
“God Almighty is in you. God is the one in you willing. God is the one in you working.”
Tremble at this breathtaking thought. God Almighty is in you. God is the one in you willing. God is the one in you working. My “continuous, sustained, strenuous” effort is not only being carried out in the very presence of all-holy God, but is the very continuous, sustained, strenuous effort of God himself. I am not waiting for a miracle. I am acting a miracle. My action is God’s action in fighting my sin. My willing is God’s willing.