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Lesson # Phil. 2:12
Study Material - Phil. 2:12
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
12 Wherefore [hoste], my [mou] beloved [agapetos], as [kathos] ye have [hupakouo] always [pantote] obeyed [hupakouo], not [me] as [hos] in [en] my [mou] presence [parousia] only [monon], but [alla] now [nun] much [polus] more [mallon] in [en] my [mou] absence [apousia], work out [katergazomai] your own [heautou] salvation [soteria] with [meta] fear [phobos] and [kai] trembling [tromos]. KJV-Interlinear 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; NASB
Paul instructs yet another attitude, and that is to have an attitude of pursuing Bible doctrine with 'fear and trembling', and to pursue doctrine not only when Paul is present, but certainly when he is not present. So self discipline is involved.
With maturity, comes responsibility and accountability. It is easy to skip a lesson or two. Or even let the lessons accumulate until late in the week and catch up on them all at one time. Wrong approach to Bible study. Bible study is more than just reading the words on a lesson, or reading the words in the Bible. You have to learn what it is you are reading. You have to focus on the lesson and think about it, ponder the lesson, memorize appropriate verses. The Bible teaches in many ways. When we read a passage, the passage makes certain statements, it also implies other statements by inference. The passage may comment on what someone has done or is doing, but there are other parties in the context who are not doing a thing, or should be doing a thing. So the lesson, if read too fast, will not help the reader at all, because much of the lesson will be lost due to the hurray up, catch up attitude. God does not reward us because we have read the Bible 20 times in our life, or 30 times. Anyone who is a speed reader can do that and gain nothing. What Paul is teaching is that each of us needs to become self disciplined to the extent that we do not depend on the presence of a person or a situation to guide our Bible study. No excuses allowed. Rain or shine, whether others study with you or not, you are commanded to study for your own 'salvation', and what does that mean?
Don't confuse the word salvation here for the initial faith belief in Christ wherein you were saved. That occurred in a moment of time and probably occurred many years ago for most of us. This refers to your 'completion', your spiritual growth to maturity, which is your goal and commanded target for your spiritual life.
Work with 'fear and trembling'. Why? If we are saved and bound for heaven, then what else is there for us? Why then should we work with this fear and trembling? Because eternity is a long time, and you are preparing for it right now. Forget those Hollywood portraits of heaven. Where everyone lays around in long white robes doing virtually nothing, but appearing happy. What happens to you when you have a lot of time on your hands? You go to the beach or to the lake and sit around for say, several days. If you are an active person then you get bored. You want to go out to dinner, get back home, get back to your hobby or the things you like to do. The trip to the beach is relaxing, but doing nothing gets old fast. You can only read so much, or sleep so much, then the inactivity gets to you. Heaven is anything but boring. And there are rewards waiting for each of us based on our spiritual growth, fantastic rewards. So do not get in your mind that it will be enough for you just to go to heaven. Would you like to go to Disney Land or to the greatest restaurant in the world, or to the greatest sporting event ever, and just stand out in the lobby, knowing and seeing all the activities you could have participated in, but your ticket just allows you to smell the food, and see the activities, but not get in real close and participate.
Remember the crowns of Revelation, which are either given or withheld? These are blessings beyond the basics for believers in heaven. They are fantastic rewards which you could lose out on if you become idle or complacent in your spiritual advancement.
This is why you should study as though fear of tremendous loss is pursuing you, because that is exactly what is at stake. Fear attacks from two directions. The fear of something happening to you, or the fear of something being taken from you. If we had lived about 60 years ago in Europe when the Nazi's ran over Europe, fear would be very real if you were being hunted down, and your very life was on the line. You would take great care in preserving yourself. That is the fear concept you should have. Though today there is not much pressure of a military overthrow for most of us, there is the driving force of spiritual growth. If you do not drive yourself in your study, no one else is going to do it for you.
So self discipline in your consistent and regular daily study, and fear of loss of reward or discipline if you fall away from doctrine. These are the two motivations to help you keep moving forward lest you fall behind. And not falling behind anyone else, but falling behind your own accomplishment potential. Remember too, the 'arm' of God flexed and straining at the lever of history, which we covered in Revelation. Time can end in an instant. The next event in prophecy is the rapture and it could occur at any moment. Your own death could occur at any time as well. So we do not have the luxury of a crystal ball to see into the future for specific events and their timing. So priorities need to be set firmly in your mind. Your attitude toward your Bible study needs to be set firmly and sincerely in your daily routine. A great deal depends on the decisions you make with regard to your Bible study. You are either hot toward Bible doctrine, or you are lukewarm or cool toward it. Your entire future is at stake. So you decide each day where your future is going.
Table of Contents
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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