Physical exercise is a part of life that is usually encouraged to all who have the ability of movement. It is physical movement that is responsible for the strengthening of one’s muscles, the burning of calories, in addition to increased blood flow throughout the body. The more that you exercise, the healthier that you will become. There are various types of exercises that are designed to concentrate on specific body parts.
Exercises can contrast between light and heavy with a special emphasis on improving bodily function. One type of exercise that is common is known as ‘weight lifting.’ Lifting weights are designed to enhance muscle expansion and overall physical strength. The greater number of repetitions, the greater one’s endurance will be when lifting weights. It is also true as it relates lifting heavier objects. The heavier the object, the greater one’s resistance becomes meaning more strength.
In one’s walk with Jesus Christ, there is also the element of ‘working out’ or ‘exercise.’ Such exercise is done spiritually in various ways. In the book of Philippians chapter 2 and verse 12, the Apostle Paul gives simplistic encouragement to Christians. Paul says the following:
(ESV) “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,”
In this chapter, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church of Philippi in which he is encouraging Christians not to be proud and to also have a love for each other. In verses 5-11, Paul also mentions that Christ exhibited humility which we as Christians should also seek to model after. However, verse 12 is a direct challenge to every Christian to work out one’s salvation in fear and trembling. What does Paul mean when he makes this statement?
To work out one’s salvation means that there must be an active process of engaging in spiritual activity. The point is to enhance your own life and the life of others through development in Jesus Christ. There are those who believe that one can receive salvation and that is the end of the process. However, the words ‘work out’ is meant to suggest that one is proactive in their own salvation or salvific experience. How do we as Christians work out our salvation? Here are a few considerations:
Reverence God daily – In today’s time there are those within Christianity who have allowed themselves to lose or not fully understand the fear or reverence of the Lord. God is a Holy God who demands that the creation worship Him and He alone. Many have taken the stance of living in religiosity with rituals but not truly seeking to revere the personhood of God. When you have a ‘fear and trembling’ as Paul says in verse 12 it means that you understand the authority of God. It also means that you are not apt to voluntarily sin which means that you abide by the set standard of Holiness and righteousness.
Paul says in verse 13:
(NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Here Paul says that God works in us which means that if we reverence Him then we are automatically obedient unto God because God then gives us the desire to do His will. A Christian should never lose reverence for God or the things of God. Otherwise, a desecration of all that is Holy and righteous begins to occur which is displeasing unto God.
Seek God’s truth in His Word – The Apostle Paul gives Christians another nugget of truth concerning God’s Word in Romans 15:4:
(ESV) “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
The Word of God was written through men by the inspiration of God, but it was written for our instruction and our encouragement. When you and I begin to read God’s Word and allow it to guide us, then we will grow spiritually. The Word of God is also the hope and the only hope that we as humans have. Part of the reason why there is so much confusion in our world is because there has been a deviation from the Bible and its truth.
We are living in a time in which many don’t truly know how to rightly divide the Word of truth which has led to many being deceived. However, God’s truth does not change despite how humanity does. We who are in Christ must know God’s Word and look to it for absolute truth and encouragement. It is what will keep us from being led astray into deception. This is why it is important for you and I to constantly meditate on God’s Word and allow His truth to permeate our heart.
Daily prayer – 1 Thessalonians chapter 5:16-18 says the following:
(ESV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
The Apostle Paul is once again encouraging Christians through His letter to the church of Thessalonica in which he uses the phrase, ‘pray without ceasing’ which is meant as a directive. We as Christians are to always pray because it keeps the line of communication open to God. God desires that we have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. One way of doing that is through prayer because it invokes reverence and communication unto a Holy God.
When we pray, we are to recognize that our prayer enhances our connection to God and it also keeps us in the will of God. It is prayer that provides safety, change, power, and the ability to access the authority that we have as Christians. It is also important to understand that in our times of prayer, we should seek to listen to God because He will also speak back to us through the Holy Spirit.
Building relationships with those in the body of Christ – The Bible encourages us to build up one another as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11. We are to edify each other in the body because when we do, it begins to invoke strength and unity. Walking in this life as a loner only leads to a life that is not vibrant or connected and it lacks accountability.
However, we should be accountable to someone else and we should also keep in mind that the struggle we have with sin is a burden that others can assist us with. We are to bear the burdens of one another according to Galatians 6:2.
The ultimate goal of every Christian should be to seek to be Christ-like which stems from one’s devotion unto God by considering and putting into practice each of these three methods. Active participation in one’s salvation is paramount to growth in God. Salvation does not stop at merely confessing your sins before Jesus Christ, but there is a process of salvation which involves seeking God to purify your heart and mind daily.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior? If not, today is a great day to receive salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He died on the cross and rose again so that you could be redeemed. Start the process by accepting this gift of salvation. After you have done so, the journey continues as you become a new person through Christ.