Working Out What God Works In

As I’ve been preaching through Paul’s letter to the Philippians, I would say my most practically helpful commentary has been “Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians” by D.A. Carson.  For those of you who listened to yesterday’s sermon on Philippians 2:12-13, the substance of the following quote should sound familiar:

“It is vitally important to grasp the connection between God’s sovereignty and our responsibility in verses 12 and 13. The text does not say, “Work to acquire your salvation, for God has done his bit and now it is all up to you.” Nor does it say, “You may already have your salvation, but now perseverance in it depends entirely on you.” Still less does it say, “Let go and let God. Just relax. The Spirit will carry you.” Rather, Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, precisely because God is working in us both to will and to act according to his good purpose (2:12–13). Nor is God working merely to strengthen us in our willing and acting. Paul’s language is stronger than that. God himself is working in us both to will and to act: he works in us at the level of our wills and at the level of our doing. But far from this being a disincentive to press on, Paul insists that this is an incentive. Assured as we are that God works in this way in his people, we should be all the more strongly resolved to will and to act in ways that please our Master.” (D.A. Carson; “Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians,” page 61).

Pastor Erik

Erik Meyers

Author Erik Meyers

Erik Meyers is lead pastor of Veritas Church.

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