Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
Salvation is founded on the mediation of Christ, but it is perfected by personal cooperation This is your own salvation, because —
I. IT MUST BE WROUGHT OUT IN YOURSELF. It must have all the distinctiveness which pertains to individuality of character.
1. Its sphere is in the man. Christianity is not an outward application, but an inward work; not rites, etc., but life.
2. It is marked by attributes so distinct as to isolate it and make it our own. Every man has his own infirmities, and hence the work of grace differs in individuals.
II. IT MUST BE WROUGHT OUT BY YOURSELF. The necessity of Divine influence is assumed — "It is God that worketh in you." We cannot be too deeply conscious of our entire dependence; but we cannot be too much alive to our personal obligations. The latter will be the basis of the judgment. The ministry of the Word, etc., are highly important; but they must not be substitutes for personal Christianity.
III. IT MUST BE WROUGHT OUT FOR YOURSELF. Every Christian is now shaping the character of his salvation in the world to come where "everyone will receive," etc.
(J. E. M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.