Philippians 2:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

New Living Translation
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

English Standard Version
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

New American Standard Bible
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

International Standard Version
And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

NET Bible
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Therefore beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not when I am near to you only, but now when I am far from you, all the more, with awe and with trembling, do the service of your life.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I'm absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always hearkened, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own saving health with fear and trembling.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore, my beloved, as you 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.

American King James Version
Why, my beloved, as you 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.

American Standard Version
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;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

Darby Bible Translation
So that, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

English Revised Version
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;

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
Therefore, my dearly-loved friends, as I have always found you obedient, labour earnestly with fear and trembling--not merely as though I were present with you, but much more now since I am absent from you--labour earnestly, I say, to make sure of your own salvation.

World English Bible
So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Young's Literal Translation
So that, my beloved, as ye always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, with fear and trembling your own salvation work out,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:12-18 We must be diligent in the use of all the means which lead to our salvation, persevering therein to the end. With great care, lest, with all our advantages, we should come short. Work out your salvation, for it is God who worketh in you. This encourages us to do our utmost, because our labour shall not be in vain: we must still depend on the grace of God. The working of God's grace in us, is to quicken and engage our endeavours. God's good-will to us, is the cause of his good work in us. Do your duty without murmurings. Do it, and do not find fault with it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. By peaceableness; give no just occasion of offence. The children of God should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse others are, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless and harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believers will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and holiness, even as the light-house warns mariners to avoid rocks, and directs their course into the harbour. Let us try thus to shine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to us eternal life through Jesus Christ. Running, denotes earnestness and vigour, continual pressing forward; labouring, denotes constancy, and close application. It is the will of God that believers should be much in rejoicing; and those who are so happy as to have good ministers, have great reason to rejoice with them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence. St. Paul passes to exhortation grounded on the Lord's perfect example. "Ye obeyed" (ὑπηκούσατε) answers to the γενόμενος ὑπήκοος of Ver. 8, and τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν corresponds with the Savior's exaltation described in vers. 9-11. He encourages them by acknowledging their past obedience; he urges them to work, not for the sake of approving themselves to their earthly teacher, but to think of their unseen Lord, and to realize his presence all the more in St. Paul's absence. Work out your own salvation. Complete it; God has begun the work; carry it out unto the end. Comp. the same word in Ephesians 6:13, "having done all." Christ's work of atonement is finished: work from the cross: carry out the great work of sanctification by the help of the Holy Spirit. Your own: it is each man's own work; no human friend, no pastor, not even an apostle, can work it for him. With fear and trembling (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:15 and Ephesians 6:5). "Servi esse debetis exemplo Christi" (Bengel). Have an eager, trembling anxiety to obey God in all things, considering the tremendous sacrifice of Christ, the unspeakable depth and tenderness of his love, the immense importance of a present salvation from sin, the momentous preciousness of a future salvation from death.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Wherefore, my beloved,.... This is an inference from the instance and example of Christ; that since he, who was God over all, blessed for ever, made himself so low in human nature, in which he is now so highly exalted, having done the work and business he came about with such condescension, humility, and meekness; therefore it becomes those who profess to be his followers, to do all their affairs as men and Christians, with, and among one another, in all lowliness of mind. The apostle calls the saints here, "my beloved", he having a strong affection for them, which he frequently expresses in this epistle; and he chooses to make use of such an endearing appellation, that it might be observed, that what he was about to say to them sprung from pure love to them, and a hearty desire for their welfare, and from no other end, and with no other view; and to encourage them to go on in a course of humble duty, he commends them for their former obedience,

as ye have always obeyed; not "me", as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions supply; but either God, acting according to his revealed will, they had knowledge of; or Christ, by receiving him as prophet, priest, and King, by submitting to his righteousness, and the sceptre of his grace; or the Gospel, by embracing the truths of it, professing them, and abiding in them, and by subjecting to the ordinances of it, and doing all things whatsoever Christ has commanded: and this they did "always"; they were always abounding in the works of the Lord, doing his will; they abode by Christ, and continued steadfastly in his doctrines, and kept the ordinances as they were delivered to them, and walked in all the commandments of the Lord blameless,

Not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence; which clause may either be referred to the foregoing, which expresses their obedience; and so signifies that that was carefully and cheerfully performed, not only while the apostle was with them, but now when he was absent from them, and much more when absent than present:, which shows, that they were not eye servants, and menpleasers, but what they did they did sincerely and heartily, as to the Lord: or to the following exhortation, that they would attend to it; not only as they had done when he was among them, of which he was witness, but that they would much more do so now he was absent from them, namely,

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; which is to be understood not in such a sense as though men could obtain and procure for themselves spiritual and eternal salvation by their own works and doings; for such a sense is contrary to the Scriptures, which deny any part of salvation, as election, justification, and calling, and the whole of it to be of works, but ascribe it to the free grace of God; and is also repugnant to the perfections of God, as his wisdom, grace, and righteousness; for where are the wisdom and love of God, in forming a scheme of salvation, and sending his Son to effect it, and after all it is left to men to work it out for themselves? and where is the justice of God in admitting of an imperfect righteousness in the room of a perfect one, which must be the case, if salvation is obtained by men's works? for these are imperfect, even the best of them; and is another reason against this sense of the passage; and were they perfect, they could not be meritorious of salvation, for the requisites of merits are wanting in them. Moreover, was salvation to be obtained by the works of men, these consequences would follow; the death of Christ would be in vain, boasting would be encouraged in men, they would have whereof to glory, and their obligations to obedience taken from the love of God, and redemption by Christ, would be weakened and destroyed: add to all this, that the Scriptures assure us, that salvation is alone by Christ; and that it is already finished by him, and not to be wrought out now by him, or any other; and that such is the weakness and impotence of men, even of believers, to whom this exhortation is directed, that it is impossible for them ever to affect it; therefore, whatever sense these words have, we may be sure that this can never possibly be the sense of them. The words may be rendered, "work about your salvation"; employ yourselves in things which accompany salvation, and to be performed by all those that expect it, though not to be expected for the performance of them; such as hearing of the word, submission to Gospel ordinances, and a discharge of every branch of moral, spiritual, and evangelical obedience for which the apostle before commends them, and now exhorts them to continue in; to go on in a course of cheerful obedience to the close of their days, believing in Christ, obeying his Gospel, attending constantly to his word and ordinances, and discharging every duty in faith and fear, until at last they should receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls: agreeably the Syriac version renders the words, , "do the work", or "business of your lives"; the work you are to do in your generation, which God has prescribed and directed you to, which the grace of God teaches, and the love of Christ constrains to. Do all that "with fear and trembling"; not with a slavish fear of hell and damnation, or lest they should fall away, or finally miscarry of heaven and happiness; since this would be a distrust of the power and faithfulness of God, and so criminal in them; nor is it reasonable to suppose, that the apostle would exhort to such a fear, when he himself was so confidently assured, that the good work begun in them would be performed; and besides, the exhortation would be very oddly formed, if this was the sense, "work out your salvation with fear" of damnation: but this fear and trembling spoken of, is such as is consistent with the highest acts of faith, trust, confidence, and joy, and is opposed to pride and vain glory; see Psalm 2:11; and intends modesty and humility, which is what the apostle is pressing for throughout the whole context; and here urges to a cheerful and constant obedience to Christ, with all humility of soul, without dependence on it, or vain glorying in it, but ascribing it wholly to the grace of God, for the following reason.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. Wherefore—Seeing that we have in Christ such a specimen of glory resulting from "obedience" (Php 2:8) and humiliation, see that ye also be "obedient," and so "your salvation" shall follow your obedience.

as ye have … obeyed—"even as ye have been obedient," namely, to God, as Jesus was "obedient" unto God (see on [2386]Php 2:8).

not as, &c.—"not as if" it were a matter to be done "in my presence only, but now (as things are) much more (with more earnestness) in my absence (because my help is withdrawn from you)" [Alford].

work out—carry out to its full perfection. "Salvation" is "worked in" (Php 2:13; Eph 1:11) believers by the Spirit, who enables them through faith to be justified once for all; but it needs, as a progressive work, to be "worked out" by obedience, through the help of the same Spirit, unto perfection (2Pe 1:5-8). The sound Christian neither, like the formalist, rests in the means, without looking to the end, and to the Holy Spirit who alone can make the means effectual; nor, like the fanatic, hopes to attain the end without the means.

your own—The emphasis is on this. Now that I am not present to further the work of your salvation, "work out your own salvation" yourselves the more carefully. Do not think this work cannot go on because I am absent; "for (Php 2:13) it is God that worketh in you," &c. In this case adopt a rule different from the former (Php 2:4), but resting on the same principle of "lowliness of mind" (Php 2:3), namely, "look each on his own things," instead of "disputings" with others (Php 2:14).

salvation—which is in "Jesus" (Php 2:10), as His name (meaning God-Saviour) implies.

with fear and trembling—the very feeling enjoined on "servants," as to what ought to accompany their "obedience" (Eph 6:5). So here: See that, as "servants" to God, after the example of Christ, ye be so "with the fear and trembling" which becomes servants; not slavish fear, but trembling anxiety not to fall short of the goal (1Co 9:26, 27; Heb 4:1, "Let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any should come short of it"), resulting from a sense of our human insufficiency, and from the consciousness that all depends on the power of God, "who worketh both to will and to do" (Ro 11:20). "Paul, though joyous, writes seriously" [J. J. Wolf].

Philippians 2:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Shining as Stars
12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.…
Cross References
2 Corinthians 7:15
And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.

Philippians 1:5
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:15
Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;

Hebrews 5:9
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
Treasury of Scripture

Why, my beloved, as you 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.

my beloved.

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and …

1 Corinthians 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain …

as ye.

Philippians 1:5,27,29 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now…

work.

Philippians 3:13,14 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing …

Proverbs 10:16 The labor of the righteous tends to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Matthew 11:12,29 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven …

Luke 13:23,24 Then said one to him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said to them…

John 6:27-29 Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures …

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and …

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives …

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always …

Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that …

1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, …

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall …

Hebrews 6:10,11 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, …

Hebrews 12:1 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, …

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus …

own.

Philippians 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly to you, that …

Romans 13:11-14 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out …

1 Corinthians 9:20-23 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to …

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may …

with.

Ezra 10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all …

Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembles for fear of you; and I am afraid of your judgments.

Isaiah 66:2,5 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have …

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will you have me …

Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and …

1 Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

2 Corinthians 7:15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembers …

Ephesians 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to …

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering …

Hebrews 12:28,29 Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, …

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