Philipians 2.12-13 – A Great Paradox
Posted: 24 June 2010 in Philippians

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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Here is one of the great paradoxes of religion. Personal responsibility and divine predestination are set side by side, without either of them being watered down or compromised. In fact, at the same time as Paul’s readers are being exhorted to act responsibly, and cooperate with God’s grace, it is also said that their responsible behaviour is the direct result of God’s gracious working within them!

The message here is that we are both to revere God as the absolute Lord of creation, and at the same time to aware that we are fully responsible for acting in a way which is consistent with his will.

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