Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
I. THE CHRISTIAN HATH A WILL AND A POWER TO DO GOOD.
II. THIS POWER WE HAVE NOT FROM OURSELVES BUT FROM GOD. Some things are done for us which were neither wrought by us nor in us, e.g., Christ's death. Some things are wrought in us not by us, as our first work of conversion. Other things are wrought in us, and by us, such as all good works after conversion. The will is wrought in us by God as we be His temples, and the deed is wrought by us as instruments of God's inward working.
III. THIS WORK OF GOD IN US IS A POWERFUL WORK. He gives to us to will that which He wills.
IV. THIS WORK IS INWARD, NOT WITHOUT. He uses exhortations, etc., but He puts power to these to prevail.
V. THE PERFECTION OF THIS WORK (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6).
(R. Sibbes, D. D.)
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.