Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. – Romans 5:12-15
People who do not believe in Jesus as their Savior can’t do anything to bring themselves to God. This is true because by nature they are spiritually dead. Only God has the power to raise them up and connect them to himself. He accomplishes this with the message of salvation through Jesus. God works faith in their hearts and gives them all the spiritual blessings that Jesus won by his life, death and resurrection.
The apostle Paul is not contradicting this truth when he gives the instruction “to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” He is speaking to people in whom God has already worked saving faith. By the grace of God and the power of the gospel, they are believers. And now they live awaiting the fulfilled hope of salvation in eternity which God has promised through Jesus.
Paul is well aware that the believers’ life is a struggle. There are obstacles and dangers to our faith. It’s enough to make us tremble with fear because we know how weak we are. Through spiritual laziness we could turn aside from the way of salvation and lose all the blessings that Jesus won for us.
Therefore, we are encouraged in our Christian life to always rely on the power of God. Through his word he continues to work out his eternal will for us. He keeps us connected to Jesus until the end of our lives. Finally, according to his plan and promise, God will bring us to live forever in heaven with him.
So it’s vitally important to pay attention to the voice of God speaking to us from the pages of the Bible. He accomplishes his gracious purpose to preserve us as his faithful people and will bring us to the glorious fulfillment of his salvation.
Prayer: Lord God, keep me faithful that I may not lose the treasures of your word. Strengthen me in my connection to Jesus as my Savior that I may live to honor you and confidently look forward to the eternal glory that you have prepared for me. Amen.