Philippians 2:12 ?

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Philippians 2:12...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

This scripture verse has always troubled me and can cause me concern and anxiety.

I’m particularly interested in the Lutheran perspective.

(Question re-posted with permission of member who originally posted on the public portion of the site).
 
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Philippians 2:12...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

This scripture verse has always troubled me and can cause me concern and anxiety.

I’m particularly interested in the Lutheran perspective.

(Question re-posted with permission of member who originally posted on the public portion of the site).

The Lord be with you

There is an old saying, “a text, without its context, is a pretext.” This is a great example of the truth of that saying. Taken out of its context, a person could get a completely backward idea of what the verse fragment means. However the very first word in verse twelve is “Therefore.” That means, because of what has just been said, the next thing I am about to say follows. In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul speaks of Christ and how he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even though he was equal to the Father. Because of this all will confess Jesus as Lord, and this confession actually glorifies the Father for it is in complete harmony with the Father’s will.

I’ll skip verse twelve for the moment and go to verse thirteen. There we are told that “our” good works are actually God working through us.

In this contest, verse twelve means something like, “Because Christ has done all that is needed for our salvation and has now resumed his position in glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit to grant us that salvation by grace through faith” verses 1-11 and referred to with the word ‘therefore,’ “we live for him not wanting to disgrace the Lord who shed his blood for us” much like a child tries to do their very best for their beloved father ‘fearing’ to disappoint him, verse 12, “all the while knowing that everything we do that actually is God-pleasing is also, in reality, a good gift from our Lord,” verse 13.

Blessings in Christ
Pastor Rickert
 
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