October 16, 2019


Philippians 2:12-18

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

—  Philippians 2:12

Have you ever wondered why a visit to the gym is called a “workout”? Maybe it’s because somewhere deep inside you is a strong, svelte, and trained body ready for rigorous competition. But that body is not present here and now—it needs to be worked out!

It’s similar with farming. Through irrigation, fertilization, and weed control a farmer works out the results of a potential crop. One can only work out results if something already has potential.

In today’s Scripture, Paul is urging us to engage in a spiritual workout and to take it seriously. By grace, God—through the work of Jesus Christ—has placed into our lives the most precious of gifts: salvation to new life!

We do not earn our salvation by our own efforts; rather, we are called to cultivate and develop this gift of God, provided at the cost of his own Son’s life. We are to work it out to its full potential.

The Holy Spirit is our personal trainer for this workout. Pointing us to Jesus, he urges us to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). That’s a big challenge, and it reminds us all that we still have much to work out.

Thank you, Lord, for your gracious gift of salvation. Forgive us for not recognizing its potential in our lives today. Train us, Holy Spirit, to become fully mature followers of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Gerrit Bomhof

Gerrit Bomhof immigrated as a young child with his family from the Netherlands to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1954. He graduated from Trinity Christian College in 1972 and from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1976. He served as a pastor to five churches in Canada and retired in June 2017.

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