Is salvation assured like fundamentalists say or is it something like the Catholic Church teaches that we have to work out? That is what this post is about and it is inspired by a special friend on Facebook and many others whom I have been blessed with.
Clearing up some misconceptions.
We are saved by Grace, through faith and our faith is justified by our works or we have a dead faith. A dead faith can not save us as said in James chapter 2.
I have found in my more than ten years study on the Christian faith and reading the bible that salvation is not assured to us (fundamentalist position), but is something we must work out with fear and trembling like Saint Paul has put it.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12 KJV) In this verse and in his letter to the Philippians as a whole he is talking to people who are already Christians.
In the fundamentalist’s interpretation of salvation, Christians are assured salvation after becoming a Christian (excepting Christ as personal Lord and Savior). If that view of salvation was something held to by Paul and his Christian audience then he would have had no reason to say what he did to the Philippians.
In Philippians chapter 2:2 Paul is giving some advice (as he is doing throughout this letter) to “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of mind.” (Phil 2:2 KJV) As Christians we must agree especially on key doctrines of the faith, like salvation. This like “mind” he is talking about, that he wants to be in the Christian, he explains is also in Christ Jesus.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:5 KJV) Paul is explaining that Christians must think like Christ and agree especially about matters of the teachings of faith like Paul is teaching through his letter. Paul goes on and is teaching the Philippian Christians (after he talks about what Christ did for us) that God has given Christ a name “which is above every name:” (Phil 2:9 KJV)
Paul is telling Christians to think like Christ, and worship Christ. If we think like Christ and worship Christ then we can assume that we will for the most part also act like Christ. We will do all of this by Grace when we have believe in his name.
In the fundamentalists view of salvation Philippians 2 verse 12 is not needed. Paul could have stopped at verse 11, but he and the Holy Spirit working through Paul did not! Paul is not teaching “assurance of salvation” he is talking about a faith in Christ that keeps on working towards salvation and a faith that God can use as he pleases until we see him in heaven.
Works Salvation by Joanne Utke