|Philippians 2:12-13 |
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.1 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Salvation is to be delivered from sin. Salvation is being freed from even the desire of your sins." In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church, (all seven), how their works are key. Jesus said, I have not found your works perfect before God. Rev 3:2-3. Jesus wants perfect works.]
13 For it is God who brings forth in you, both the will (to work) and the works (as commanded), according to his good pleasure. [A true Christian is crucified and purified by the grace of God, able to do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven; that is a true Christian's sole purpose: to pray, to speak, and to act as God directs, thus to bring pleasure, honor, and glory to God.]
1 Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. So salvation and believing are not the same. Notice in the next verses, Paul pleads with them to be blameless and harmless, so Paul will not have labored in vain over them.
Paul further shows that believing and salvation do not occur simultaneously in his letters to believers in the churches.
And Peter echoes the same message that salvation is not just believing or faith, rather salvation is the end of faith's obedient journey and requires growth:
Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a time, if necessary, you may have to suffer griefs through many trials,
So that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might result in praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; though you do not see him now, but believe in him, you rejoice with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory,
Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. 1 Pet 1:5-9.
As newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the word, so that you may grow up to salvation, 1 Pet 2:2
Simon the magician believed and was baptized. He tried to buy the power of laying on of hands. Acts 8:13-18.
Peter said to him, "Repent therefore of your wickedness, and pray to God that perhaps you may be forgiven for your heart's thought. For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity." Acts 8:22-23. Obviously Simon had not been "saved" by believing or baptism.
Jesus told five out of seven churches of believers in Revelation that they were lost, on the way to destruction. The Smyrna believers were about to enter tribulation, whom he encouraged. Only the church of Philadelphia was doing well because they had kept [obeyed] his word with patient endurance. Notice again! Jesus said that five out seven Christian churches of believers were on their way to Hell. Massive error had already taken hold 2000 years ago, until today the false church is pervasive with grace supposedly being a license to continue to sin.
The work is carrying the inward cross of self-denial over time. To seek, listen, hear, and obey - is part of the cross.
Salvation is the end of the crucifixion of the selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, when Christ brings your salvation as he appears within you.
Faith is not instant, it is a process that yields growth to share in the divine nature. As Peter instructs us: which exceedingly great and precious promises are given to us, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
For this very reason, applying all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;
And to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness;
And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly, kindness love.
For if these things are in you and abound, you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:4-8.