#DailyDevotion Cling To The Word Of Life Daily
Phil. 212My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m away. And so work out your salvation with fear and trembling 13since it is God Who continues to work in you, both to desire as well as to do what is pleasing to Him. 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you will be blameless and innocent, God’s children with whom no one can find a fault in the middle of a crooked and perverted people, among whom you shine like stars in the world 16as you cling to the Word of Life. Then I can boast on the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or work in vain. 17But even if my life is poured out while I bring your faith as a sacrifice and service to God, I’m glad, and I’m happy with all of you. 18You, too, be glad and be happy with me.
Paul here is pouring out his heart for these people for whom he suffered much in bringing the Word of Life to during his stay there. He here encourages them to continue to be obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ even when he is not there. He gives this admonition which is often misconstrued, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
Some people misinterpret that phrase to mean that we must earn our salvation by good works or that good works are necessary for salvation, but that is not what the phrase says at all. I have heard Paul’s sentiment here stated another way, “Salvation is a free gift of God but live your live as if it were not.” Yet, I don’t know if that is the still the best way to take it. I generally look at it this way, you have been given the free gift of salvation, now work out with it in your daily life remembering it is God who has given it to you. The gift of salvation we have been given freely we are to use in our daily lives to crush the flesh which still adheres to us so we live honest and godly lives. When tempted to sin we are to remember who we are and whose we are.
Paul follows that phrase with, “it is God Who continues to work in you, both to desire as well as to do what is pleasing to Him.” Here we see, working out our salvation depends upon God. It is God the Holy Spirit who works in us to do good. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the desire to do what is pleasing to God and to do what is pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit operates according to the Gospel, the free gift of salvation, the forgiveness of sins in Word and Sacrament. So not only is our salvation a free gift of God but so is our daily lives in Christ Jesus.
He reminds the Philippians and us to not be like the Israelites who were saved from the hand of the Egyptians. He says, “1Do everything without complaining or arguing.” That is how the Israelites were during their forty year stint in the wilderness and why they had to have that forty year stint in the wilderness instead of going straight from Egypt to the Promised Land. They grumbled and complained about how Moses and the LORD treated them. They sinned against their Savior by their grumbling. Their complaints were not in faith trusting the LORD to do something about their problems. We too should watch our complaints lest they become a snare for us to fall into disbelief and then a life in opposition to the Word of Life we have been given. Instead of grumbling we are to cling to the Word of Life, that is our LORD Jesus Christ, remember how he lived and submitted himself to the Father’s will and trusting him to deliver him and was exalted at the right time. We too are called to trust in the Father’s will in our lives and cling to Jesus our Life trusting him to deliver us at the proper time.
Heavenly Father, always give us your Holy Spirit that we may cling to the Word of Life and live lives pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.