Work Out Your Own Salvation!
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 5 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Salvation is More than Being Saved)
Philippians 2:12, "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." Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Psalm 51:12, "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit."
We learned in a previous chapter that there are two parts to salvation (salvaging). Perhaps it would be better to say there are two salvations--the salvation of the soul and the salvation of the life, or as the previous chapter emphasized, the salvation from the garbage can and the salvation to the recycling. The first is what David was talking about in Psalm 51:12. Notice the words, "'My salvation." The second is the one that is mentioned in Philippians 2:12. Notice the words, "work out your own salvation." Notice, I am not commanded to work out God's salvation, for I cannot do that. I am, however, commanded to work out my own. I have no part in the salvation of my soul; I do have a part in the salvation of my life.
God reminds me that His salvation is not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9). However, immediately He tells me that I was created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2: 10). This coincides with Philippians 2:12 which admonishes me to work out my own salvation. This means His salvaging is not of works and my salvaging largely depends upon my works.
Notice the following conclusions:
1. His salvation is all His work.
2. My own salvation includes my works.
3. Good works are prepared for me. Ephesians 2: 10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Notice that the works were foreordained that I should do them.
4. I am His work.
5. Then I am His work being prepared for my work, which is being prepared for me. Not only is God preparing me for my work, but He is preparing my work for me. He prepared me to be Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. While He was preparing me, He was preparing my work; that is, the church and the people, for me. So I am His work in that He saved me and salvaged me from Hell and ruin. At the same time, I am being prepared for my work while my work is being prepared for me.
6. That means that we are the work, we do the work, and we are the work's work. This means that all the churches I pastored before becoming Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond were preparing me for the First Baptist Church, and all the time He was preparing me for the church, He was using other pastors at the First Baptist Church to prepare the people for me. In other words, I am to do my work and I am my work's work. I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that God is preparing good works for me to do. I also know that God is preparing me for the good work that He is preparing for me. Hence, the good work will both be and do a good work, as He prepares my work, I am to prepare for it. That means I am to be there so I can do it when I see it. This means that any good work I see that is needed which crosses my path was put there for me. I must see it when it crosses my path and must be ready and be able to do it. I must not depend on my works for the salvation of my soul, but I must give myself constantly to the working out of my own salvation; that is, the salvaging of my life. It is His business to salvage me from the garbage can. It is my business to do my part in working to see that I am salvaged in recycling so that I may once again do that for which He made me.
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