Once we receive salvation, God promises us peace. We will have peace knowing that we will spend eternity with God (John 10.29), peace knowing that we have purpose in Christ (Ephesians 1.11), peace knowing that we are loved and valued by God (Romans 5.8); however, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, the “work” of salvation has just begun.
Paul exhorts us:
“Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ)” (Philippians 2.12 AMP) (emphasis added).
This struggle or “working out” of our salvation continues on this earth because we will always have our flesh battling our God-breathed spirit. Paul also says in Romans, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (7.15 NIV).
When we lay our soul on a platter and allow God to dissect our inner being, He will expose the default setting of selfishness in our human nature. And once we see our pride and sin spread out before us, we must make a conscious choice every day to walk outside of our flesh and in the spirit.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5.16 NKJV) (emphasis added).
We choose every day to walk in the spirit, believing, claiming and living out the truth that we are the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5.21 ESV).
Those who are not struggling in their salvation are those who are blindly and resolutely walking in the middle of their pride, criticism, judgement, bitterness, selfishness and sin unabated and untested. They have no struggle because they have not allowed themselves to stand naked before an all-knowing God.
To be sure, God knows the deepest, darkest spots of all us; but if we hide in the fig trees of our minds, we will never allow ourselves to become accountable. Our pride will become the blanket sin that causes us to never grow from glory to glory in Christ (2 Corinthians 3.18). Pride deceives us and keeps us from God’s best and His greater glory (Jeremiah 49.16).
If you are struggling to work out your salvation, be encouraged! You are fighting the good fight of faith!
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6.12 NIV).