“…..with fear and trembling work out the salvation of yourself” (Philippians 2:12).
The work of Jesus in salvation is perfect; it is done forever. For that reason, we can say that we are saved. But we have a responsibility if we are to inherit that salvation for which Jesus has paid the price. He has worked it in, we must work it out; that is, make it manifest in our lives. This is nothing less than a call to live a Christ-like life.
The goal is to gain the prize of the calling upward of God in Christ Jesus.
That there are different responses to the call of Christ is clear from the parable of the sower, in which Jesus said of those in whom the Word has taken root in the soil of a consecrated heart, that they would bring forth fruit, some a hundred fold, some sixty and some thirty. This shows there is no such thing as “arriving”! We are on a journey and there is no place for sitting down, toiling away in average and common Christian ways; we must always be walking, striving and following after. We cannot experience that which we have not believed and, in another sense, we cannot believe that which we have not experienced; we must move forward and claim spiritual victory.
Paul wrote to the Philippians about his own efforts in this regard;
“….and I might be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is from Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, that righteousness from God on the basis of faith; to know Him, and the power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if somehow I may arrive into the resurrection, that from death, since I did not already obtain it nor already have been made perfect; but I hasten on, that I may also seize that for which I was taken hold of by Christ. Brothers, I do not reckon myself to have seized it, but one thing, forgetting the things behind and straining toward those things lying ahead, I set my mind upon a goal, the prize of the calling above of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:9-14).