by John Barnett

This content is part of a series.

What is the Grace-energized Life? (19 of 23)
Series: Women Energized by Grace Series
John Barnett
Philippians 2:12-15

This week as Gerry and I had lunch someone stopped by our table and asked, “Could you define ‘grace-energized’ for me?” I did briefly there at that restaurant, but as I thought and prayed about it, I decided that it would be good to pause one week and back up to look at the underlying doctrine of progressive or personal sanctification which is what grace-energized living is all about.

As we open to Philippians 2:12-15 consider this question, “Did you know that spiritual growth is not automatic--but requires our cooperation with God?”

Grace-energized living means our personal, daily application of the spiritual disciplines. That is what God states in our passage this morning, both His work and ours, side-by-side: “Work out your own salvation.... For it is God who works in you” (Phil. 2:12–13).

Paul sent this strong challenge to many who sat to hear his letter back to the church in Philippi as he explained to them that when we were saved by grace through faith, nothing was left undone by God—we were saved to the uttermost.

But in God’s plan He left something for us to do. At the instant of salvation we were justified and positionally sanctified (just a big way of saying that we became saints). But that instantaneous justification launched what God describes as a life-long arduous struggle to work out our own salvation.

Is this some type of contradiction in the Bible? Is it a mistake, a mistranslation, or something? No, it is the command God has left to every believer called the doctrine of progressive sanctification.

Where there is life, there is always growth. Our new birth was just the beginning. God gave us all we need to live godly lives, but as His children we must apply ourselves by diligently using the “means of grace” He offers us.

Paul commands each of us to work out our own salvation in Philippians 2:12-14. ...

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