Our Warfare

“So then, my beloved, even 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.” Philippians 2:12 ASV

Paul begins this verse with “so then”(ASV) or “wherefore” (KJV) thus drawing a conclusion from the preceding verses; wherein he writes of Jesus Christ giving up His glory to be fashioned as a man and dying on the cross for the salvation of our souls. The conclusion is that we must be about our own salvation with fear and trembling. The phrase indicates the seriousness of the task at hand.

Paul speaks not of terror, but of wholesome, serious caution. The caution that keeps one from ever doing that which would bring dishonor to God. It is recognition of the fact that our soul’s salvation is the most important and all-consuming concern we should have. It cost our Savior His very life on the cross and as soldiers of the cross we must be in earnest!

“Fools make a mock at sin;…”(Prov. 14:9) Men often talk lightly and idly about the devil and his wiles. Holy Scripture teaches us a very different lesson. We are engaged in a lifelong struggle against him. The conflict is deadly, awful. Its issues are most momentous–life or death, heaven or hell. The soldiers of the cross must be in earnest, for they “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness”(Eph. 6:12). To talk lightly of the enemy, to jest about such matters so tremendous, is not only unseemly; it is dangerous. It puts men off their guard, and exposes them to the insidious assaults of the tempter.

We dare not take lightly the mortal struggle in which we are engaged. In the New Testament we find terms like “warfare”,”armor of God”,”the good fight of faith”,etc., used to express the Christian’s life. As we consider the society around us and the direction the world is headed, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent.

Let us commit to labor more earnestly in this conflict-within & without!

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