In my previous post, we looked at the first part of Philippians 2:12, 13 which reads: “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed… work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and work for his good pleasure.”
We discussed what “work out your salvation’ means. Today I would like us to all look at the phrase: “with fear and trembling.” What does this mean? Does it mean that believers should always live in fear that their salvation might be lost or God will take it away from them?
Not at all! Scripture now and again assures all believers that they are in safe hands of Christ and no one or anything can snatch them from the hand of Christ. In other words, believers cannot lose their salvation (John 10:27, 28; Romans 8:38, 39; Ephesians 2:13, 14; Philippians 1:6). Therefore, “with fear and trembling” does not mean that believers should be afraid of losing their salvation.
The phrase, rather, refers to awe and reverence that automatically comes out of believers when they ponder at their salvation, especially, on how God humbled himself to become a despised servant and later die on the cross for sinners and his enemies and rose from the dead. This act leaves believers with no other option but marvel at how this could be. It is this reverence of failing to fully grasp the depth of God’s love and grace that the phrase is referring to.
For sure salvation is an awesome thing and we can agree with Paul that the gift of Christ to the fallen world is “an indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).