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Explain Philippians 2:12

Philippians 2:12,"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." Was my mother's favorite scripture to quote to me. What do you think it means?

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 ---mima on 11/19/06
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Paul says they have obeyed..."but now much more in my absence"; so it looks like Paul was encouraging them about how they were "now" being even MORE obedient, even though Paul was not with them. He did not have to be there in order to get them to do what they should, but they obeyed "much more", even without him around > because God was working this (next verse) > God gives "increase" of obedience (1 Cor. 3:6-7)
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/14/07

God's worked in them "both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (consider Philippians 2:13) > He gave "increase" (1 Cor. 3:6-7) to their obedience, even while Paul was not with them > so, Paul was very deeply encouraged by how his ministry was so successful, like this. This is a very encouraged Paul writing, here!!! What was Paul's secret of such success? > he led by example (1 Peter 5:3), of submitting to how God had him relating with the Philippians (Colossians 1:29).
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/14/07

"nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3) I must not lord myself over others, in order to get them to do what I want, but win obedience by real love's example > not by charm or my Bible smart talk or bribing or bashing or pressuring > conformist religious standards and social expectations can be faked even by predators...used as camouflage!!! Jesus has us doing BETTER than even good leaders ask > 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/14/07

greetings.If you have faith then you have it yourself.
---earl on 5/13/07

It's self-explanatory, that as you obeyed the gospel when I was present with you, now while I am absent from you you must continue to obey moreso, to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
---Eloy on 11/21/06

Like my daddy use to say to me, "Quit lookin' at my pole an' catch yer own fish". Paul wanted those he had nurtured in the Word to move on to see God without seeing Paul. Salvation comes direct not via your preacher/bishop/priest/rabbi/etc. Jesus is that lighthouse. Look to Him for salvation. Note "fear & trembling" means Awe and respect. Just as we tremble before our loved one and lose our voice with awe.
---mikefl on 11/20/06

The answer is explained in the next verse. It is God that works in us to will and to do His good pleasure. So, to work out your salvation is to let God do His work in you the way He want to do it.
---john on 11/19/06

4 you,I think it means you should work 4 your salvation(serve God!) as if its about to escape,so run 4 it with all you'v got
---NENGAK on 11/19/06

It is strange how we hear such passages in the bible, accept them, but don't really think about what they really mean. It sounds good, but we don't work them through!
Does it mean we should use the brain, guided by God who gave it to us, to decide how we should live? Or even, perhaps to decide whether to say Yes or No to Jesus? (thus confirming Free-Will?
---AlanUK_quent5969 on 11/19/06

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