555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

471. How, if God Worketh in Us, Must We Work Out Our Own Salvation?

There is no contradiction in the passage Phil. 2 :i2, 19. It is very true that we must work out our own salvation; and it is equally true that it is God who worketh in us. A certain part is ours to do, which God cannot do for us; another part is God's to do which we cannot do for him. In the first place we must do the believing. Mr. Moody used to tell how he prayed for faith until he noticed the passage: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Rom. 10:17. God has given the Word; we must do the believing. Again, God gives us the power, but we must use it. God may give his Spirit to enable a Christian to testify or to preach, but the Christian must use his lips and tongue and voice. God dwells in us and works in us and we have his power; but by using his power and accepting his help we increase our capacity for more, we gain mental, spiritual and physical strength and skill for our work. Our bodily life bears a perfect analogy to the spiritual life in this respect; God starts our hearts beating and keeps bestowing the gift of life. In this sense he dwells and works in us. But we must work and exercise that we may grow stronger and more efficient and accomplish the work we find to do.