Phil 2:12-13 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; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Self-centeredness is a way of life for some. A way many people were actually forced by the behavior of others and therefore decided to put themselves first. However, selfishness is not a fruit of the spirit. Christ made it clear when He gave His life to be murdered on the cross. So we also cannot be selfish.
The scripture above is the only thing that gives you permission to selfishness. Be selfish in Christ. When you are selfish in Christ it all becomes about God.
My translated version of it is:-
Redeem salvation given to you by grace through reverence which equates to wisdom and obedience, allowing sanctification and transformation by the Holy Spirit for service, for God’s good pleasure.
a. Redeem salvation
No one has worked or can work for salvation, it is already given by grace. Into God’s presence we only come by grace not by works. The only thing we ought to continuously seek is the righteousness of the kingdom. We are to yearn for a good standing with God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but through Christ we can walk in salvation. We just need to believe.
b. Reverence [wisdom]
Wisdom is God’s word understood and applied. The beginning of wisdom is to revere God. We need to apply God’s word in our lives. Scripture carries instruction of how we ought to speak [Be slow to speak], think [Have the mind of Christ], Act [we wrestle not against flesh and blood], walk [be led by the Spirit]. We have to apply the instructions of the word, not just memorise it for when we just memorise it’ll bear no results.
Obedience is better than sacrifice. Israel had different types of offerings accompanied by sacrifice because they just could not obey God. Disobedience is the ultimate sin. It is equal to rebellion. Satan is the king of rebellion and he was cast out of heaven. You can never allow yourself to be disobedient to God. Doing the opposite of God’s word is disobedience
d. Sanctification and transformation
The blood of Jesus was shed on the cross to seal the covenant with God and His people. It also stands for the atoning of sin. It also speaks on our behalf. Before the atoning and speaking however, one has to be in covenant with God. This a process so painful as it illuminates all iniquities and weaknesses so as to transform the person to a mirror image of Christ. It’s a process that cannot be skipped as painful as it is. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to produce who we really are
e. For service
All this is to be able to serve God in Spirit and in truth. Because when we have been transformed we are in the image of He who was found to be without blemish, but about His Father’s business. He served the Father through the people while flesh. We also work out our own salvation that we may be within God’s will and serve in the kingdom. It is in this position that we can ask whatever and the Father in heaven will do it. Because when you are within His will, you are His will.
f. For His [God’s] good pleasure
God created us for Himself, to pleasure Himself. You see in Genesis that after creation He would be pleased with Himself. What could be even more pleasing than to see His best creation working according to its original form and purpose?
But now in our day to day life we are faced with situations and people who are constantly trying to shift us from our position. How do we ignore these people and these situations.
When a person is in a bad mood usually they want to drag someone else to give them company in their position. This is where selfishness is allowed. Do not allow someone else to shift you from your own position to entertain theirs. Choose not to go there with them, in other words ignore their invitation. For others you could be trying to apply the word of God e.g. showing kindness, gentleness etc. but they throw it back at you. This is when you have to be mature enough to apply the word saying – do everything as if for God and not man. It is Christ that you are aiming to please and you shall surely please Him when you do His word. The one throwing it back at you is just clueless and ignorant and therefore cannot be taken to heart.
With situations, the word of God says – be anxious for nothing but by prayer and supplication. Any situation that is out of your control is a call for prayer. Don’t meditate on it or try to resolve it. You will only entangle yourself in frustration. Pray! then listen to what God is saying about it.
Our hearts and minds are to be constantly fixated on Christ whom our responsibility is to please. He is a fountain of answers and solutions.
May we have continued wisdom to work out our own salvation!