2. How to work out our salvation?
1）The working of God in people He loves is like “silken fetters”, “binding” our heart to His love and leading
* Just as the selfless love of a wife has “bound” the husband, causing him to love her willingly; the infinite grace and truth of Christ is like silken fetters, causing us to surrender to Him willingly. In fact, the tighter the silken fetters bind us, our hearts and minds will be closer to God’s, and thus our submission will greatly manifest the glory of the Father. The silken fetters of God is like:
① God began a good work in me, and enables me to gladly obey Him <1:6, 2:12>;
② God, for His name, leads me to the path of righteousness, hastens me to work out my salvation <2:12>;
③ God causes me to be unable to find peace and meaning in this crooked and depraved generation, instead, only by setting apart and living out Christ can I see my own value and glory <2:15>;
④ God all the more binds me in His joy, when I suffer for the sake of gospel, enabling my spirit to transcend the earthly joy <2:17>；
⑤ God binds me to the intercession and concerns of the brethren
2）How to connect to God’s work within us and work out our salvation? 《2:12-13》
① Knowing the attributes of God and being conscious about His indwelling, therefore fear and tremble! A lot of people misunderstand this as a fearful heart, but here it implies a heart of revering and solely seeking God. Actually, believers often lack this fear and trembling heart, and thus let loose in their living; if the people sharing God’s word lacks such heart, the message shared is often knowledge and theories.
② We need to confirm and understand God’s word, until our will and emotions match God’s. Although this is a process (our weak nature often distracts us and causes us to incline to our flesh), we need to experience the teaching and support of the Holy Spirit in all things. Eg: the calmness in making judgment, the peace of body, the wisdom in speech, the rhythm in living, the joy in playing, the fervor in serving, the sincerity in loving men etc, all these are characteristics we can see from man, but Lord wants us to learn how to listen to Him and do His will in all things, so that He can be glorifed.
③ Whether it’s toward man or things, we need to live in the infinite conviction of the Holy Spirit all the time, and live by always testing and approving God’s perfect will. (Only by living out the perfect will of God, can God be glorified.)
④ After doing the will of God, we need to always receive rewards from Him. The evidence of God rewarding us is the joy of the Spirit in our hearts.
3）In practical living, we ought to examine ourselves: if we do in reverence to God, we will surely display the virtues of believers in crowds 《2:14-15》
* Specially, Paul instructed the believers to avoid complaining or arguing. If a believer reveres and seeks God in his spirit (guard his heart and mind), he is surely able to hold his tongue. Often, believers often complain, lament, and argue with people in their own designated tasks. As a result, they lose the Holy Spirit’s conviction easily, and cause the pessimistic spirit to be working in the people around them. Such complaining and dissatisfied spirit absolutely cannot glorify God, and also stumble the people around us. Try asking, if a wife often laments, it will not benefit her husband and children, no matter how well she manages the matters of the house; if a worker often complains, no matter how responsible he is, he will not be recognized by his boss. If possible, we believers should put all these habits to stop. Specially, after this, Paul talked about being the children of God without fault in the crooked and depraved generation (an era of not acknowledging God, letting loose of selves and being self-centred). This is not implying we can attain the perfect standard of morality, but being accountable to man in our speech and actions, a contrast to the people of the world. If we can have a little good virtue in the slightest matter, men naturally see the glory in our lives.
① 神在我身上动了救恩善工，使我乐意顺服祂《1:6; 2:12》；
③ 不管是对事对人，我们需要常活在圣灵无限的感动，天天察验神的美意而活。 （唯有活出主的美意，才是荣耀神）。
3. The evidence of having worked out our salvation – ministry that is grounded, the assurance of joy
1）Believers in Philippian had personally met God through the complete gospel Paul passed to them, and continued to work out their salvation such that Paul did not labour for nothing 《2:16》
* The complete vs truncated gospel will eventually reveal the differences. If a group of believers have received the teaching of the complete gospel, no matter how small their strengths and conditions are, the truth they believe will surely manifest in their living (different from the worldly people), and will surely be passed on with time. This is like how apostles passsed down the Christian faith. If we tend to our desires and distort the true essence of gospel (eg: not enabling people to meet God, not teaching people to be grounded in working out their salvation), as time passes, the distortion will be shown in life like a leaven, causing the whole dough to be fermented.
2）Although Paul was imprisoned and far from family and friends, he was extremely rejoiced by the progression of faith of the Philippian believers 《2:17》
* Often, we cannot explain or understand the joy that the apostles’ faith had brought. Maybe a lot may think that they will never reach such a level. Actually, if we do not continue to work out our salvation or deeper experience the supernatural work of the Spirit in our lives, we will always feel that such level of faith is far from reach. But actually, when a believer slowly overcomes the wellbeing and joy of the flesh, and start to experience the joy of obeying Lord, one day, he will experience the power and joy not known to man as he suffers for gospel, giving all glory to God.
3) Eventually, Paul passed the joy of such life to the believers 《2:18》
* Some manifestation of life cannot be forced upon, if not it will become legalism. Here, Paul showed the believers the highest power and joy of the Spirit, and it is manifested through his joy of submitting to God, loving souls of men even in difficult situation. If we are to pass down the power and joy of loving God, the most God-driven way is to live out the joy of submission.
3. 做成得救的工夫的证据 – 有根基的事工，有喜乐的确据
【Book of Philippians 8】
"The Power and Joy in Working out your Salvation"
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