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Philippians - Working Out What God Works In Your Heart

#10 - WHAT DOES PAUL MEAN WHEN HE TELLS US TO "WORK OUT OUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING?"

Speaker
Rev. Don Horban
Scripture
Philippians 2:12 - 16
#10 In The Series - WORKING OUT WHAT GOD WORKS IN YOUR HEART - Studies in the Book of  Philippians

Perhaps few texts have been wrangled over more than this one. Arminians emphasize verse 12 as Calvinists do verse 13. And this is sad because Paul's line of thought doesn't run along the lines of this dispute at all. He isn't placing our work and God's at opposite ends of the pole. Rather, the wording of the text seems to link our work and God's in a wonderful marriage. Why are we to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? Because everything about our standing in grace comes from God's sovereign hand. These two sides of the truth embrace rather than fight. And our interpretation of the passage must pull these threads together.


Then there's the strange wording of the first portion of verse 12 - "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence..." I can certainly see why Paul wants them to be obedient both when he's with them and when he's not. But what can he possibly mean by saying they should obey him "much more" in his absence? Why more in his absence than his presence?

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Philippians

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