Philippians 2:12– With fear and trembling03-02-2023 - Posted by Hans
So that, my beloved, according as you always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling, be carrying your own salvation into effect…
Verse 12 begins with “So that” (or “therefore …”) saying that the following is based on the foregoing. “Every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Gratefully, Paul notes that his readers always followed what he taught them.
Paul’s appeal here is that in his absence the Philippians would all the more work out their salvation “with fear and trembling.” Many have inferred from this formulation that Paul would make the Philippians uncertain about their salvation. But the opposite is true. For in the foregoing, Paul had just shown that everyone in the name of JESUS (=’YAHWEH is Savior’!) will glorify God as Father. This ensures the salvation of every creature (1Tim.4:10)!
The “fear and trembling” does not make salvation doubtful. The message is: Be very careful not to diminish the GOD-guaranteed salvation of all! Fear (Gr. fobos > phobia) and trembling (Gr. tromos > trauma) is appropriate here. GOD swears that every tongue will confess Him. And we say with trembling awe: AMEN!