The Word of God tells us to, “WORK OUT our salvation with FEAR AND TREMBLING” -(Phil 2:12). Firstly, notice it says “WORK OUT”, not “WORK FOR”. We don’t WORK FOR salvation. We simply Believe in Jesus Christ – (John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31). It says WORK OUT because God has already WORKED IN. Now let see it in context, “Work OUT your salvation with Fear and Trembling, for it is God who WORKS IN you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure”. – (Philippians 2:12-13).
So we are NOT working for salvation, we are simply reflecting God’s Inner Working by Grace through Faith. So what then is FEAR and TREMBLING? Most think it’s a “Shivering fear of God’s Wrath/Judgment/Punishment”, that God will DEAL WITH THEM if they fail Him, so one must Fear and Tremble before Him, lest they be consumed by His Anger. Oh dear, it hurts me when people preach another God, than what Jesus came to reveal.
People have believed Another Jesus, The Punishing God. NO NO NO! FEAR and TREMBLING aren’t all that, it simply means AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF GOD’S GOODNESS AND GRACE. Let’s allow the Bible define itself through the Holy Spirit, not man.
So lets see its explanation in Jeremiah’s prophecy about our Salvation, The Lord says, “I will cleanse them from all their sins, and forgive them. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and honor before all nations of the earth, who shall HEAR all the GOOD that I do for them; THEY SHALL FEAR AND TREMBLE FOR ALL THE GOODNESS AND PROSPERITY that I provide for them”-(Jeremiah 33:8-9). Wow, See that? Meaning God’s Goodness and Grace will be so lavished upon us that, we’ll be overwhelmed with amazement. That is Fear and Trembling! It’s a Constant Awareness of God’s Grace.
Ok let’s see another scripture. Did you know, the woman who touched Jesus’ garment for healing, was also recorded to have Feared and Trembled immediately she was healed??–“Jesus said, ‘who touched me?…..But the woman, FEARING and TREMBLING, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him.”- (Mark 5:30-33). She was overwhelmed by His Healing Power, not His Anger.
Even Paul told the church, “I was with you in weakness (humility), in FEAR and in much TREMBLING”-(1 Corinthians 2:3). This doesn’t mean he was a “scaredy cat”, No. Fear and Trembling is NOT a fearful expectation of judgement, but A GLORIOUS AWARENESS OF GOD’S MIGHTY WORKING GRACE! Awesome God huh?