Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Hey, wait a minute! I thought salvation was a free gift so that no man could boast. So, then what’s this verse talking about? What does it mean when it says work out your salvation? This analogy popped into my head that made it more clear.
A city slicker inherits a farm from a distant relative. Now this is no ordinary city slicker. He’s never been out of the big city. The only grass and trees he sees are in pictures.
Anway, the city slicker owns that farm, free and clear. There is no doubt about that, he owns the farm. He doesn’t even have to pay taxes on it. It was all taken care of by his relative.
No one can take the farm from the city slicker. He doesn’t have to do anything to get the farm except to accept this wonderful free gift. He didn’t do anything to deserve the farm but thanks to his very loving and generous relative, it’s definitely his farm!.
The city slicker is very excited about his new farm. He’s telling everyone about this wonderful gift that he’s received but, alas, he’s never been a farmer before. He doesn’t know the first thing about farming.
He doesn’t know how to use the tools and equipment. He doesn’t know what to plant, when to plant, or how to plant. So, even though the farm belongs to the city slicker, he doesn’t know how to use the farm to its best advantage.
The city slicker has a choice. He can just enjoy knowing that he owns the farm or he can learn how to make the most of his new farm. The choice is his. Either way the farm belongs to him but if he chooses to learn how to farm, he can make the farm much more fruitful for himself and for others.
Becoming a Christian is the same way. We can choose to learn how to use our wonderful gift of salvation so that we can become more fruitful for God. We can, also, choose to accept the gift but not dig further to understand the true meaning of God’s gift.
We won’t be as fruitful and we may miss out on many of the blessings God wants to give us but we are still Christians, no matter what choice we make. God always gives us the choice to show our love to Him but He never forces us to make that choice.
Salvation is a multi-faceted gift. God in His great love and generosity wasn’t satisfied with just giving us a way to get to heaven some day. He wanted to give us a way to overcome the world now.
The choice is yours.