abcabcabdd Working Out Your Own Salvation (part 1) | Sermons from the Smoky Mountain Church of Christ

Working Out Your Own Salvation (part 1)

Philippians 2:12-13 “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.” (ESV)



  1. The setting: Paul is in prison and the church at Philippi had sent to his needs.
  2. The theme: Joy. Joy despite persecution (1), joy through unity (2), joy through faith in Christ instead of confidence in the flesh (3), joy through trust and reliance on God (4)
  3. Amid Paul’s instructions for unity is a short exhortation concerning the individual’s responsibility to work towards salvation.
  4. Philippians 2:12-13
  5. Will emphasize three points from this text: you are responsible for your salvation, it is a serious responsibility, and God will give you the power to do it.


  1. Textual observations
    1. “Therefore”: in light of Christ sacrifice and coming judgment
    2. “Beloved”…”always obeyed”: applies to all believers
    3. Presence/absence: continue while I am gone, even more important (1:27)
    4. “Work out”: To work fully, to accomplish, to finish, to achieve, to perform in such a way as to produce results.
    5. “Your own salvation”: your personal, individual, deliverance from eternal destruction
    6. “With fear and trembling”: the grave and eternal consequences of failing, leads one to tremble or shutter in fear.
    7. “For it is God who works in you”: from Greek word energeo “to be active, effectual, to work in, to be active, operative.” God’s power energizes  or empowers us
      1. Gal2:8, 3:5
      2. Eph1:11, 19-20, 3:20
      3. Col1:29
    8. “Both to will and to do for His good pleasure”: both our thoughts and our actions are used to do God’s will
    9. Three important thoughts 1) We are responsible for our salvation 2) it is a very serious responsibility 3) God enables us to obtain it
  2. We are responsible for our salvation
    1. Work out your own salvastion
    2. You and you alone are responsible
      1. Steve’s mirror. (You are looking at the person responsible for your salvation.)
      2. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11
      3. Don’t try to shift responsibility
      4. Do you truly realize this?
    3. You have to work to make it happen
      1. It won’t happen on its own (Matthew 7:21-23; ch25)
      2. It is not the easy way Matthew7:13-14
      3. Are you putting forth any effort?
  3. It is a very serious responsibility
    1. Fear and trembling
    2. Why do the majority take salvation so lightly?
    3. Heb9:27 (What will it be like to face death unprepared, what about the judgment?) (Fear and trembling)
    4. Lyrics for What Will Your Answer Be? #284
    5. How serious are you taking it?
  4. God enables those who are trying to make it.
    1. It may seem impossible now
    2. God has equipped us with what we need to obtain salvation
      1. Eph4:11-13
      2. Eph6:10-13
      3. 2Pet1:3
      4. Today’s lesson is one of seven lessons designed to equip us through God’s word to work out our salvation. The next six lessons are going to be on prayer, study, fellowship, worship, holiness, and influence.


  1. Read Phil2:12-13
  2. You are responsible for your salvation
  3. It is a terribly serious responsibility
  4. God will enable you to obtain it


  1. Are you a weak Christian? (You know if you are not doing as you should)
  2. Now is the opportunity you have been waiting for.
  3. Commit to be here for the next six sermons. (It could be the most important decision you ever made!)
  4. Start taking your salvation seriously!

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