Work Out Your Salvation In Fear

Lura: “For I am convinced that neither death nor live, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nro anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39

William: And yet, the same Paul who wrote Romans 8:38-39 also wrote:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

Ryan: …for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

William:
@Ryan: Excellent rebuttal! And yet when Joseph’s brothers come to him in Egypt to ask his forgiveness, Joseph basically says “YOU intended evil, but God TRANSFORMED your evil into good.” What Joseph was getting at was that had his brothers not sold him into slavery then the long sequence of events never would have transpired which resulted in Joseph being in a position of authority and therefore able to offer relief and shelter to his relatives. So it would seem in that verse that God was not working in those brothers to inspire them to do what is good. In fact, Ryan, the verse you cite might be applied to Judas Iscariot or to Pharaoh in Egypt in the sense that what they did was part of God’s will or plan and yet such people are not necessarily saved or rewarded and what they do is not necessarily good.

+++

IF we examine 1 Corinthians 9:27 in isolation (out of context)

“But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

then, viewing that verse in isolation, it appears that Paul is NOT certain that his own salvation is guaranteed. AND if we compare this verse along side Romans 8:38-39 we might be tempted to say “there is NO FORCE outside of the self which can deprive us of salvation BUT there may be something within us whereby we disqualify ourselves.

In the parable of “The Prodigal Son” there is the obedient son who never leaves home and always does his father’s bidding, BUT when he sees his prodigal brother received with a banquet (the Eucharist) then he feels jealousy and excommunicates himself (refuses to join the banquet.)

++++

Christie: OK, I’m no bible scholar, but I read the Philippians verse to mean: I am not around to make you behave. We need you to be like Christ from the inside out. I know that following this path of Christ is scary, and you are doing things differently that you have known in the past, but do what you know is right & God works through you.

That can also be summarized in “Don’t be a jerk just because heaven is assured (ie your sins forgiven). Keep working at being a vessel for God to work through”

(work in progress)

It is not obvious that everyone’s salvation is assured or that Christianity is like a Monopoly “get out of jail free” card. IF it were all that simple then why did the 2nd and 3rd century see all those “desert fathers” flee the cities and take up lives of celibacy and asceticism in the wilderness. Take a look at “The Philokalia” which is a handbook for monastics
(to be continued)

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