It is a common misconception that because,

“That whilst we were still yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

God wants us to reciprocate a response that is in equal measure and magnitude to His sacrifice. Jesus wants us to know that that could not be further from the truth.

Yes, it is true that we should respond to Christ and the apostle Paul charges us to,

“ out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).” Philippians 2:12 [AMPC]

Indeed, we are called to be watchful against temptation, shrink away from things that might offend God and discredit the name of Christ. But are we to do this on our own steam? Relying on our own energies? What happens if we fail God, when we fail God?

The translation from The Message gives us the context to how we are to live out this obedience,

“What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 [MSG]

Yes, we are to be obedient to God and energetic in our life of salvation. But it is not by our own efforts that we are able or are supposed to sustain this behavior. God supplies the energy to us for us to do that which is pleasing to Him. We do not have to rely on our own energies to please God. We just rely on God’s energy and God Himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure.

Beloved child of God, before you were, He is. Before you knew Him, He foreknew you. Before you called out to Him, He reached out to you. Before you realized you were dirty, His blood washed you clean. Before you asked Him, He supplied. And before you realized that you were heading for eternal damnation, He saved you.

So stop relying on your own efforts to lead the good life. Turn to Him and seek His provision to walk in His ways.

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