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.
As we grow in Christ-like character, we are called to progress in holiness and godliness. Paul tells the people of Philippi that when he is gone, they must continually seek to grow in Christ and work out their salvation.
Salvation begins with our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and it continues as we allow the Lord to work in us to become more like Christ. The process of working out salvation is called sanctification; it is the process of growing more holy as we draw near to God.
Peter describes the process of sanctification as participating in the divine nature of Christ: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3) He does not say that we have a divine nature, but that we participate in HIS divine nature. Here, Peter is talking about growth in holiness. In addition, he says that believers are called to separate themselves from the corruption of the world. (II Peter 1:4b) When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, we become a new creation. We are then called to grow in Christ’s character and to daily work out our salvation by allowing God to work in and through us. (Philippians 2:12-13)
The evidence of growing in holiness can be seen in our lifestyle changes – by the books we read, the movies we attend, the people we spend time with. The Lord calls us daily to grow in holiness, separated from the world but still a part of the world. We must never have the attitude that if we are holy, we must separate from the world. The world is our mission field!
Jesus was clear that we are called to holiness in order to influence the world.
Jesus said that as believers we are lights on a hill; the salt of the earth.
(Matthew 5:13-14) As we allow our light to shine before men, they will see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. Holiness is not a call to superiority; it is a call to humility.
Are you growing in holiness? Are you able to see that your lifestyle has changed since you came to know Christ? He is calling you to be set apart for His glory so that others can see His light shine through you.
Heavenly Father, Help me to display Your light to others. I pray that I will grow in holiness and that You will draw me away from those things that are displeasing to You. Give me a willing heart to respond to Your love by yielding to the process of growing to be more like You. In Jesus’ name, Amen