This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 14th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here
Salvation is free. Then what’s with the praying, giving, serving etc.?
“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 in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Verse 12 is in the context of verse 1-11. Because of what Jesus has done there needs to be an appropriate response. Religion looks for salvation in different ways- different kinds of penance, good works, etc. what can give us salvation? Salvation is found only in Jesus. Only Jesus died for the sins of the world.
Salvation is simple. Others say you need to work for your salvation. Jesus says that it is done. All we need to do is believe. So we don’t work for our salvation but we work it out. We work on it. This is key. Instead of counting the cost, we just coast along. Paul says ‘no’, this is not how it is to be.
It is like having a gold mine and not mining it. Paul is pointing to Jesus’ example. Paul says fear and trembling? Is the Old Testament and New Testament God different? Is the Old Testament God fearsome and the New Testament God a buddy?
What was John’s response to Jesus at the Island of Patmos? He fell face down as though dead. The glory of Jesus is an awesome thing. So when He says something we need to listen. The Christian life is a struggle- there is effort and agony.
Luke 13: 24- “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door…
Colossians 1:29- To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
In Colossians 4:12 Paul says that Epaphras wrestled in prayer. So it is not, let go and let God. You are being deceived. We fight the good fight of faith. We wrestle in prayer.
1. Struggle- are we putting effort into our Christian life? If you are coasting through something is wrong. We don’t struggle on our own. God enables as well. He gives us the strength.
Jesus says, make effort to enter through the narrow gate. You won’t find many people there. It is a partnership. Jesus by His Spirit energizes us.
2. From verse 14-16- Speech- in general, we can complain and grumble about so many things. Sociologists have found that the earlier generation complained less. Today’s families have fewer children, but the needs and wants are more.
What should flow out of our mouth should be the Word of God. Ephesians encourages us to speak wholesome things. Talk about what God has done. When we do that, we will shine like stars.
Colossians 3:16- Let the Word of God dwell in you richly. The Christian life is a battle. Paul pressed on to take hold of that for which God took hold of him.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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