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Working Out Our Salvation

After giving a hard lesson on eating His flesh, the bread of eternal life, and drinking His blood, the blood that cleanses our sins, many of Jesus followers turned away. Peter responded when asked, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:67-69). This is what caught my attention while reading, verse 70, Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

In this scripture, Jesus is talking about Judas Iscariot. Judas showed by his works where he stood. He was the “treasurer: and often took money from the treasury for himself. We are informed of this in John 12:5-6 when he tries to condemn Mary for pouring an expensive jar of perfume on Jesus feet. This is the same disciple who betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. When he realized what he had done, he did not seek the Lord for forgiveness, but ended his own life.

I share this with you to make you aware not everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved. Jesus tells us in the parable of the sheep and the goats, “Depart from Me you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.”

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it can’t just be said in words but not shown in deed. Scripture tells us, let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him (1 John 318-19).

Scripture also tells us that faith without work is dead. I encourage you to read the “faith” chapter in the Bible (Hebrews 11). There are many examples of faith.

1. By faith, Noah built the ark (Gen. 6:13-9:29)

2. By faith, Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 12)

3. By faith, Mary believed the Lord when He told her she would give birth to our Savior (Luke 1:26-38)

There are many examples of faith in the Bible that proceeded with action, obedience, love.

Scripture also tells us to work out our salvation.

Philippians 2:12-13, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but not much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Paul is addressing the Christians in Philippi. Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. He knew his life, at this time, was coming to an end. He needed the people to know they couldn’t rely on him for salvation, but they themselves, as individuals, had to work out their salvation before the Lord. It is up to us as individuals, to work out our salvation. It is up to us to do more than just say we believe. We have all heard the phrase, actions speak louder than words. I believe there is truth and wisdom in that phrase.

By openly and unashamedly living our lives for Christ, we are witnessing to the non-believers of the love of Christ. God can use anything and anyone to draw an individual to Himself with loving-kindness. Do not underestimate the power of God, the power of God within you.

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV), Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

© 2022 Leslie Wittenmyer—All rights reserved

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