“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Philippians 2:12-16 (NKJ)
12 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;
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Some people believe that your salvation is completely God’s responsibility and others believe that it comes by your own efforts. However we can see from God’s Word that although He did all the hard work, it is still up to us to allow that work of salvation to take place in our lives. God will do great things in us—with our cooperation.
From the moment that you accept God’s incredible blessings of grace and mercy that come to us by the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and you receive Him as your Lord and Savior, you are born-again! You are saved from hell, eternal damnation, and all of the penalties of sin. Your spirit is made brand-new and you receive eternal life immediately. There will never be any death for your spirit again. Your body will eventually cease to exist in its present form when your spirit leaves your body and your body dies, but your spirit—the real you—will live on in God’s presence.
Your soul (mind, will, intellect and emotions) and your body are not instantly redeemed at the moment you were saved as your spirit was. That is the salvation you have to work out “with fear and trembling.” When you were born-again, it was not the end of your salvation, but the beginning. Fortunately for us, God is working in us to bring about His will and His good pleasure. All we have to do is yield to His working and submit ourselves to His will.
Titus 2:11-14 (NKJ)
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
In order to inherit the salvation of our body and soul, we must depart from sin and ungodliness and we must live soberly, righteously and godly, keeping our eyes and hearts open for Jesus’ return and eager to do what is good.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJ)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
If you present your body unto the Lord as a living sacrifice, then you will not be likely to yield it to the lusts of your flesh—which is the root of all your sin problems. Your flesh desires the pleasure of sin, but unfortunately sin has very unpleasurable consequences, both here and in eternity. The only way you can cease conforming to the world and begin to be transformed and recognize God’s will for you is to renew your mind to the Word of God.
You did not earn the salvation of your spirit—it was a free gift purchased in the blood of Jesus that you received. God’s grace and mercy is still working in your life for the salvation of your soul and body. It is your responsibility to work out this salvation, by continuing to allow God to do the work in you that He desires to do—until you see Him face-to-face!