Philippians 2:12-18; Our responsibility in growing spiritually and “truly” free will…

We know that when we enter into a faith relationship with Jesus that he seals (Ephesians 1) and sanctifies (Titus 3) us. We are His once and for all. But as we walk with Him, there are important personal volitional decisions we need to make to appropriate the readiness of our spirit to set free the inner work of the Holy Spirit within us. These volitional actions on our part are the expression of our redeemed free will. Before coming to the Lord we were not completely free because we could not choose to do good all the time. Now that we are a redeemed and new creation, we do have the completely free power to “do good” all the time. This is not to imply we are or can be perfect, we cannot be. But the potential is there (when it never was before Christ’s work in us) when we consciously appropriate the decision to apply our will to the activity of the Holy Spirit. What form does this conscious decision take. In these Philippians’ verses our action and responsibility is to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”, to “do all things without grumbling” and to “hold fast the word of life”. These actions give Paul cause to see that the Philippians’ faith was not in vain. Working out ones salvation is not implying that we need works to be saved but in the spirit of Romans 8 “by the Holy Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body” and Hebrews 3 pressing on “so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”. When our desire to appropriate these changes in our lives is coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be truly free to live a spiritual life…

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