Go read Philippians 2:12-13
I think for most of us, we are disobedient to Philippians 2:12. Blame the Bible belt culture, blame the weakness of our communal relationships, or just blame your own sin, BUT as a whole as a people group, we just need to accept that we do not work out our salvation regularly. So first we admit. And then we repent. And then we need to start striving towards salvation showing up in every area of our lives.
<> Where are you currently working out salvation in your life?
<> If you aren’t, what stands in the way of you repenting?
Limiting the Gospel
If we are not extremely careful in this Bible-belt culture that we live in, we will become just inoculated enough with the gospel that we STOP CARING about it. Apathy and spiritual stagnancy is death in your bones. I think there are two main ways that we can be guilty of limiting the gospel and both are equally deadly and both will kill our ability to work out our salvation.
LIMIT NUMBER ONE: Leaving the Gospel Behind.
Go read Revelations 2:1-5
<> Overall, how is the church at Ephesus doing?
<> What is wrong with the church at Ephesus?
It is amazing to think that someone could be persevering and suffering well for the name of Christ and at the same time – in the very midst of intense spiritual maturity – they are failing to remember their first love. JESUS. Please don’t be confused on this issue: You will NEVER stop needing the gospel. You will NEVER grow past needing to sit and meditate on and be re-blown away by the love of Christ poured out for you on the cross.
LIMIT NUMBER TWO: Gospel Restricted Areas.
Along with leaving the gospel behind as we strive to become some kind of religiously mature Christian who is impressive to everyone around us, another major danger is that we mark off certain areas of our lives and restrict Jesus’ access to those parts of our heart. Subconsciously we’re saying, “Jesus you can have my relationships and you can have my hobbies but NOT my finances . . . You can have my time and I’ll live crazy busy for you but I don’t want to talk about my addictions . . . I don’t want to talk about my patterns of sin that are comfortable like old friends . . . You CAN NOT talk to me about my relationship with her . . . with him . . .”
In no way do I mean to imply that Jesus is unable to wreck and rebuild our proud-dumb hearts if we won’t let Him in – but what I have seen Him do in my life and what is quite terrifying is that He seems to be very patiently willing to let me kill myself up to a certain point. What I mean is that He urges and pulls and pushes me the entire time and if I ignore and shut Him down, He often says, “ok. If that’s what you want, I’ll let you taste it and when it all falls apart, you’ll come running back to Daddy.”
<> What are areas of your heart/life that you have restricted Jesus’ access to and refused to do work?
<> Are there areas of unnecessary suffering where God is allowing you to taste the fruit of your disobedience?
Work it Out
Repent. Stop. Change. Beg. Plead. Run to His feet and humbly throw yourself to Him needing Him and offering all of you. He doesn’t fail. He is faithful. He forgives. And now, in reconciled relationship with Him, get to work. Sit down and write some of this stuff our. Call some friends and say, “hey I know this has been jacked up, I need some help. What do you see in my life? Where do I need to do work?” You working out your salvation will be the main way that you learn to rely on Jesus – your salvation.