" ........ work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phl 2:12
As long as you have a hellfire fear based religion the translation above would seem to support the fear and angst that drives most Christians. How wonderful it is to discover the alternative where GRACE abounds.
A good brother named Jul, after some research wrote this concerning the familiar scripture quoted above.
"I read an alternate view of this verse which I thought seemed to be supportable. That view stated that the word “fear” can also mean “strong emotion relating to reverence”. Combined with the word “trembling” which was said to mean “trembling with JOY”.
That is to say, that we are to work out our salvation with strong feelings of JOY and REVERENCE so much so as to cause us to TREMBLE with HAPPINESS.
The reason for such a strong reaction is because our salvation is not dependant on our self motivated efforts, rather “for it is God who is working in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure” As such, we are told, “because of this do ye also rejoice and joy with me.”
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phl 2:13
For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. Phl 2:18
With this view of the verse there is the feeling of REJOICING AND JOY in respect to our salvation. As opposed to the feeling of ANXIETY and QUAKING IN APPREHENSION in respect to our salvation.
To give credence to Jul's discovery this is another writing on the same subject.
Those two words "fear and trembling" are from the Greek "PHOBOS and TROMOS."
A funny thing with those words, it all depends on the intention or motive of the writer or reader as to what thought is being conveyed. The Greek philosophy was their psychology, this philosophy dealing with mind and emotion was rather simple. The emotion would be a single word, but that single word was the median of two-meanings.
PHOBOS has a positive and negative meaning to the same emotion, the two-sides of the same emotion either mean "dread" or "reverence. The same for TROMOS, it either means "shake nervously in fear", or "shake excitedly in anticipation."
PHOBOS, once again means either "reverence" or "dread", two sides of the same emotion depending on the perspective at the time. The Apostle Paul was genius, because out of the many other words Paul could have used to represent fear, terror, dread, caution, weary, and the like, he used PHOBOS.
In light of this discovery how apropos is this proverb.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Pro 25:2
Brother Jul with some of my thoughts intertwined again writes, "as you read this word think of how those, with ETERNAL HELL AS PART OF THEIR DOCTRINE DOCTRINE, ARE ENGULFED IN DEAD WORKS THAT ONLY BRING FORTH SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. CONVERSELY THE MAN WHO KNOWS GOD AS LOVE REALIZES IT IS ONLY BY GRACE THERE IS SALVATION". Composing my thoughts, I am thinking in terms of giving an answer to my non Universal Salvation friends. Many of them are stuck in gross legalism. When they read “fear and trembling”, they have feelings of anxiety.
So what does it mean to you, to work out your Salvation with Fear and Trembling?
The way I understand, to put it in technical terms, my salvation is a process of impartation of sanctification. The active ingredient being the Blood of the Lamb. As such the “working out my Salvation” is by Grace alone, not of myself.
I will not be appearing before our Judge with the boast, “Lord I did this....and Lord, I did that.... Far be it from me to bring anything before His Majesty except the cry of, “Grace!, Grace!”. I would feel so ashamed to direct His attention to anything I have done. I totally, without reservation or addition, identify with my Messiah and his righteousness alone.
This I do with great joy and trembling of happiness.
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, Joy to you and me.
My dear friend how will you stand before Our Righteous Judge, when your life is over. Will you stand in fear and trembling trying to convince God your dead works are righteous. Or might you be found before His Majesty, trembling with happiness and full of great joy. As you point to Jesus will you cry Grace! Grace! O My Father, the Lamb is worthy for He has borne all my sins and performed all my good works. Glory be to the Lamb "who taketh away the sin of the world!"
Oh sweet reader, give up your works of self effort as you try to appease the Hellfire God. Instead, join us as we embrace Jesus who paid the price and gave us GRACE. Discover this Jesus "Who is the Savior of all men, especially those who are believers." 1 Tim 4:10