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“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 . This verse of Scripture has seemed to many Christians to he a contradiction of other statements from the pen of Paul concerning salvation, all of grace. Why should man have to work out his own salvation, if he is saved by grace without works? Ephesians 2:8 , Titus 3:5 . Surely there is no contradiction. It is a misunderstanding, an erroneous interpretation of the verse.
In the Epistle to the Romans there are the plain declarations that a man is justified by grace, through faith, without works, without religion and without a cause. But in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Romans the justified believer is instructed how to walk and talk and act as becometh a saved man. God’s call is to salvation, separation and service. For the deeds done in the body, for his walk and conversation and service, the justified believer must give an account to Christ at His judgment seat. Romans 14:10 , 2 Corinthians 5:10 .
In writing to the Galatians the Apostle Paul said, “the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 . To them he also wrote; “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 . But how did the Galatians receive the Spirit; by the works of the law, that is, by religious endeavor, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:2 . The very moment they received Christ and salvation as God’s free gift, they likewise received the Holy Spirit as God’s free gift; by faith in Christ crucified. Galatians 3:14 . They were sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 . If they received the Holy Spirit by faith, could they have retained the Holy Spirit by works? Nay, only by faith. “Because ye are sons God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.” Galatians 4:6 .
OK, so what have we learned...we learned that Christians do not receive the Holy Spirit by bearing fruit; but they should bear fruit because they have received the Spirit by faith. All believers have the same justification by faith and therefore the same perfect standing before God. But no two Christians bear exactly the same fruit. In other words...every believer’s fruit-bearing state differs; and even the most faithful saint in service is not perfect as to his fruit-bearing state.
The believer is created in Christ Jesus unto good works that God hath before ordained that he should walk in them. Ephesians 2:9-10 . If any man be in Christ he is a new creation. The new creation, mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 , is referred to as the “new man” in Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:24 . In this latter verse the believer is thus instructed: “That ye put on the NEW man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” In Colossians 3:5-9 there is recorded the deeds associated with the OLD man, “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, anger, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth, lies.” When the Saviour was on earth he referred to these as the corrupt fruit from a corrupt tree. He said, “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20 . The old man is the corrupt tree the new man is the good tree. The fruit of the good tree is the fruit of the Spirit. Some religious people, who have never been born of the Spirit, manifest in their lives some splendid moral qualities; but no unregenerated person can manifest the fruit of the Spirit, because he has not the Spirit. But let us never forget that no one can be regenerated by trying to imitate Christ or by trying to bring forth good fruit. Remember God’s order; fact, faith, fruit; and then what? This brings us to Feeling...And we will go into this in depth in the next part of this message series.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 . BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
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Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )