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Your most important Workout

This 'work out' is for all the marbles.

Hey Christian, which scenario most closely describes you?

>Born into a family that believed church-going was the right thing to do...

>Raised in the South where 'pert near everyone is a Baptist of some sort...

>Born in Florida, often went to Mass at your local Catholic Church...

>Reared in a town in Greece where the only option was the Orthodox Church...

>Or maybe you were brought up in NorthEastern America, and you still worship in the small Congregational church...

>Or how about California in a megachurch! Pick your nondenominational church: Saddleback, Mariners, Calvary Chapel?

>And then maybe you were not raised in church at all, but had an encounter with Jesus Christ while you were in college.

What do you believe about Jesus Christ

And how does what you believe impact your daily life?

[the choices you make, your priorities, your purpose, your legacy]

When Paul wrote to his fellow believers in churches near and far, he wrote from the convictions of his own heart, informed by the experiences God had led him through, all the while guided by the ever-present inspiration of the Holy Spirit. [never forget that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."1]

As he wrote to the Philippians, Paul expressed so eloquently how the unparalleled humility of Jesus Christ that led Jesus to lay aside his royal robes for swaddling cloths and an eventual cross... how that changed all of eternity for mankind as one day every knee will bow in recognition of Him. Yes, it was this same Jesus who accounted for the radical 180-degree turn in Paul's own life.

Because of this, Paul writes, "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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."2

Work out your own salvation.... hmmm.

Since salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone, again, I ask you - what do you believe about the Lord Jesus Christ? On what truth do you base your spiritual beliefs? It cannot be on a denominational stance or position; it certainly must not be on trendy so-called spirituality based on what feels good at the time. Would it surprise you to know there is a growing church in the town of my birth--Oakland, California, based all around entheogenic sacraments? Yes, the use of psychedelics for a spiritual experience, focusing on "the use of cannabis and mushrooms. We believe that mushrooms sparked the first religious experiences of our species..."3Why are you surprised and how can you scoff if those statements represent 'truth' for those individuals?

No, no - we must base our lives, our realities and certainly our Christian faiths on the biblical truth of Jesus Christ, only Son of God, Lord and Savior, Coming King. Sole Scriptura, Latin for Scripture Alone - all truth necessary for our faith and salvation is found in the Scriptures.

This is what Paul means when he says we are to 'work out our salvation' - first we read and study God's Word, learn to follow Jesus, obey him and then cooperate with the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within us, because as Paul indicates "it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Vs. 13 of Philippians 2. This so beautifully compliments Paul's treatise to the believers in Ephesus: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."4

Someone boldly asked me recently 'when did you get saved?' Dang, no one has asked me that question in decades! I rather liked it, because it is biblical; Jesus used the word 'saved', so did the Philippinan jailer in Acts 16.31, and so did Paul. I smiled and said, 'well, I was raised to know Jesus as a little girl, so 'a very long time ago--yeah, that is when I got saved.'  

One day, God will require an answer from you on that question. It will not suffice to say 'come on, God, my family always went to church - you know I believe in you...' or 'God, I have been a member of the Southern Baptist church in good standing since I was 21 years old' ... or 'God, surely you remember my First Communion and Confirmation at Our Lady of Fatima and all the Hail Marys I've said since then, well do ya, God?' God might appreciate your regular attendance at the Orthodox Church and your Greek dancing, he might like it that you sometimes served at the Congregational church, and that you were in the tent in Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa or read the Purpose-Driven Life twice... but all of it falls woefully short.

It is our individual assent and walk with Jesus Christ that will save us and guarantee an eternity with him. And we work that out diligently through faithfully following him through the joys and challenges of this life.

Share this, please~


Philippians #14 

1 - 2 Timothy 3.16-17

2 - Philippians 2.12-13

3 - Zide Door,

4 - Ephesians 2.8-10

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