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Seeking God’s Pleasure – A Study of Philippians
“Working for Pleasure”
This text presents an apparent paradox. On the question of our salvation, who’s doing the work: we or God? It seems clear on the face of it; the imperative is written to humans – work out your own salvation…. But the last clause is theologically so rich; we can only work out into public practice the new life that God has worked into us, and His purpose cannot be thwarted, because He is at work within us both to will and work for His pleasure. The work of salvation, including our sanctification, is something we often find to be a laborious hardship. But God for His part is smiling, doing what He does in and through us out of sheer joy. The fact that He is willing to work in and through us is a monumental truth, and should strike us with awe and wonder (“fear and trembling”).