Our Work – Dependent Diligence

This morning I was in Philippians 1-2…and I was struck by 2:12-13 which says:

12Therefore, 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, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

…”work out your own salvation…” That gave me pause for a good mini-goatee scratching “Hmmmm….”

I also then was running thru my memory index cards and found 2 Tim 2:20-21

20Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay,some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

…”if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable…” More mini-goatee scratching….

There’s a few verbs there…eh? “Work out…” “Cleanses himself…”

And then, I remembered Josh Harris’ sermon this week called “His Work and Our Responsibility

Josh had a great point to summarize this issue, and resolve my goatee-scratching and called it “Dependent Diligence” — 100% dependent on the Holy Spirit and 100% diligent in our work. Maybe it’s sorta like that old cliche “Work like it’s all up to you, and pray like it’s all up to God…”

So, our “work” in working out our salvation and cleansing ourselves from dishonorable things…is to be totally dependent on his Holy Spirit.

The example “why” of this that Josh brought out blew my mind – in Zechariah 4 there is a vision….a picture of a lamp, which uses olive oil to fuel the light of the lamp, and it is connected to 2 olive tress with 2 golden pipes (v11). So…the olive trees are providing and endless supply of fuel for the lamps. That’s where the statement in v6 says

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts

When we are 100% dependent on the Holy Spirit, he provides UNLIMITED power for us to live for him. He supplies everything we need for life and Godliness thru our knowledge of Him. (2 Pet 1:3)

Our power then is NOT dependent on us and how we are feeling that day, but rather on HIM, who NEVER changes…and is always faithful, always powerful.

We must then do our “part” – and be diligent. We have a responsibility, we do have “work” to do. Now I’m using lots of “quotes” because our “works” cannot SAVE us. Only the complete, perfect, work of Jesus Christ on the cross saves us, but in our dependence on Him, He calls us to be diligent. And when we are diligent, he supplies us the power:

28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

So, in the hopes that this post hasn’t already gotten too long…as Josh sums up in his discussion questions…

  • Does this characterize your life?  Why or why not?

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