(Philippians 2:12-13) “Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
When we come by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior, He gives us, immediately upon our heart belief in Him, the gift of salvation. We are then His, and He is ours; but, it doesn’t end there. God has many children, chosen by Him before the foundation of the world, who must hear the gospel, effectually believe in Jesus Christ, and be saved. There are many poor out there, barely having enough food to keep them alive, and even then, perhaps not for long – who eventually, and inevitably, will die of starvation. There are many in jails and prisons who need someone to have compassion on them, and visit them, taking to them the gospel, a kind word, and a willing-to-listen ear. There are many sick, who need to know that someone cares about them, enough to visit them and pray, with, and for them.
As I said before, it doesn’t end when we are saved; that is merely the beginning. When God works into us, into our innermost parts, the gift of salvation, He expects us, and will help us, to work our salvation outward for His glory, and for the sake of the lost, the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, and the disenfranchised; i. e., those whom worldly society thinks are sub-standard human beings. In all of this remember: It is God who is “working in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
Personally, I must come in repentance, and confess to God, “that working out what God works in,” has not heretofore been a priority in my life. I’ve been a Christian for a long time; but my thoughts and contemplation has been mostly in my own behalf, not fully realizing (or perhaps ignoring the fact) that God expects us to care for people: physically (in regard to food and clothing, and shelter); kindly, in terms of friendship, and spiritually, in terms of their need to know Jesus Christ. That is what it means to open the entire gift of salvation, and to share it with those with whom we come in contact.
As ever, with love, from a sinner saved by grace,