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God at work in you, Part 2 (fragment) – John MacArthur

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV)

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“Maybe I can give you an illustration to help in your understanding. In your mind’s eye, go back to Exodus chapter 14 to Moses, you don’t need to turn to it, just think about it with me for a moment. Pharaoh’s army is behind him and the Red Sea is blocking his path. Pharaoh’s desire is to destroy the children of Israel and the Red Sea will prove their drowning, if they move into it. But Moses was so confident, though he was in that trap, so confident that the Lord would give victory to him and to the people of God that in verse 13 of Exodus 14 he shouts to the people, and this is what he says, “Don’t be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Don’t be afraid, stand sill and see the salvation of the Lord. That was great faith but that was bad advice. Sorry, Moses, you got it half right. Good for that kind of faith, bad advice. Because the Lord immediately shot back from heaven and said this, “Why are you crying unto Me. Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to go forward.” I like that.

It’s not stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, it’s…what?…go forward and see the salvation of the Lord. God was going to give the victory. And He was going to give it in such a way that no one could deny that it was Him who did it.

And in such a way that it could never have been done with any help from man, but He wasn’t going to do it until the Israelites moved forward. What an analogy that is. Because that is precisely what Paul is saying to us here in the spiritual dimension. It isn’t stand still and see the victory of the Lord. It isn’t yield, surrender, let go let God, it’s move and see the victory of the Lord.

So, we conclude that there are just two points in these two verses. Point number one, verse 12, the Christian working out. Point number two, verse 13, God working in. Let’s go back to our first point which we introduced last time.

In verse 12, Paul says basically that the Christian is to work out. In fact, the major statement of verse 12, the main verb and the main idea, is found at the end of verse 12, “Work out your own salvation.” That is a present imperative, that means it’s a continuing force command, continually be working out your salvation. That is a mandate. Please notice, he is not saying work at your salvation. He is not saying work up your salvation. He is not saying work for your salvation. Salvation is a gift of grace not of…what?…works. You’re not working for it, you’re not working at it to improve it, you’re not working it up, you are simply working it out. And we noted last time, rather in great detail as we studied that phrase, that what he means is to produce on the outside of your life that which has been planted on the inside, to make visible in your conduct that which is true of your redeemed nature. What God has worked in by way of salvation, you are to work out by way of sanctification.

Fuente original en inglés: Sermon transcript: God at Work in You, Part 2,  John MacArthur, Philippians 2:12-13, http://www.gty.org/Resources/transcripts/50-20

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