Live Like Saved People
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
God has a well of life:
- Encouragement that comes from Jesus’ teaching, example and sacrifice.
- Comfort that comes from knowing God’s love that surpasses knowledge.
- Participating in the power of the Holy Spirit in you, giving you confidence that God is working in and through you.
If we go to God’s well for life, then we will see God’s way of living:
- Unity in understanding where life comes from
- United in loving others as Jesus loves us
- United in serving God and others as Jesus served
God has a well and a way of life. This is a description of the life provided for us in our salvation, so Paul says, “Work that out.” What does he mean by that? It means that just because God has provided salvation does not mean that people walk in salvation. So, our passage today says that since we are saved people, we are to live like saved people! If we are to do this, we need to first understand that we are saved for a purpose by God! Paul says, “Work out your salvation, I want us to understand that we are…
- Saved to Do Good Works
- Good works are God’s works for you
Think about the idea of being a creation of God. God is the artist. We are the picture of the painter, the sculpture of the sculptor, the building of the architect, the house of the builder, the garden of the gardener etc. There is a purpose for the work of the creator.
8-9 We are saved by God’s grace through trusting in Jesus Christ (Faith) And all of that is a gift from God, it is not from our own effort.
Now: v. 10 We are God’s workmanship. He is the creator and we have a created purpose. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Good works are our created purpose.
Those works are all of the actions of a person that reflect the character of Christ in every situation that we find ourselves in.
- God’s character reflected in us
Who are you?
A neighbor, a friend, a parent, a child, a sibling, a spouse, an employer, an employee, a neighbor, a servant to the community, a volunteer in a service organization, a renter, a shopper, a driver, etc. We have many different ways in which we interact with other people in our culture. God has a plan for each different relationship. And God has a plan for each different interaction.
- We must know the Bible and the Spirit
This is where the information is going to come from to direct us to the good works that God has for us.
The bible: II Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- Scripture comes from God
- Scripture is used by people for teaching and training in righteousness: Teaching is the “what” that righteousness is. Training is the “how” that righteousness is.
- Scripture gets us ready for the good works that God has for us
The Holy Spirit:
Jesus: was obviously empowered by the Holy Spirit at His baptism, He is led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
The Apostle Paul:
Acts 16: 6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Romans 8: 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
- Sins are Bad Works
- Sin is disobeying God
God give instruction, people do not follow the instructions.
Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah’s boys, the people at Babel etc.
I John 3: 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
- Everyone struggles with sin
Bible characters have weaknesses that are obvious.
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.”
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
- Not struggling with sin is worse
James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
Here are the two terrible responses to sin:
- To deny that it is sin (repression and denial)
- To boast about your behavior and deny that it matters.
I John 1:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
III. Work Out Your Salvation
- The goal is God’s good purpose for your life
God’s good pleasure for your life is what?
It is for you to follow Jesus Christ!
The goal of being filled with the Spirit is character. The goal of being born again is character. The goal of being a creation of God and a new creation of God is that we would live like Jesus Christ.
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
- God is at work within you
- God is at work in your life to make you willing to do His will. I think this is the purpose of much of the suffering that we encounter in life.
- God is at work providing us with the power to do His will!
Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses
- God never leaves us to ourselves!
- Be afraid to miss God’s working in your life
This is your only opportunity for life. And if you are not interested in the life of God now, what makes you think you will care for heaven? Heaven is all about God!!
Jewish leaders are a good example of this terrible reality.
Romans 10: Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.