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October 21 – Work out your own salvation

“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.” – Philippians 2:12b-13

Scripture reading: Philippians 2:12-16 and 2 Peter 1:3-10

When we hear Paul’s words, we might think he’s telling us that we must find our own way when it comes to our salvation, “Work it out for yourself.” But that of course cannot be what he means. As we’ve seen time and again, our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and is not based on any merit of ours. No, what Paul is teaching us is that the Christian life is to be an active life and in no way stagnant. As a Christian, you are to “exercise” your salvation, that is, to put it into daily practice. We do that through the reading of God’s Word, prayer, worship, living a godly life, dying to the ways of our sinful nature and so on. This we are to do, “with fear and trembling”. This means we must be mindful of our great need for God’s grace in living such a life. For we cannot do this alone, but only in reliance upon Christ and the strength He gives to us through His Holy Spirit!

And further, look at the comfort we have in this, for it is God who “works” in us. He is the One Who enables us to live this kind of life. And how wonderful to think that as we are called to “work out” our own salvation, God is “working in” us so that we can obey Him and live for His glory!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God would enable you to live out your salvation and live a life that is vibrant and fruitful for His praise and that will be a blessing to the church and her life.

Rev. Ancel Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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