Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting Unstuck

The church at Philippi was stuck in their strife, parties, and dissensions with no way out. Paul's solution is a strong admonition: "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who is working in you... Philippians 2:12,13. Was the "salvation" they were to work out personal or corporate?

It is clear that Paul's talk about "salvation" refers to the community of believers. Why? They were unhealthy! There was strife, bad feeling between believers, occupation with themselves - their power, their opinion, their way.

True, God would have a part in it (for it is God who is works in you), but they must actively "work at" allowing the Holy Spirit to change their attitude to humility with complete reliance on God in carrying them through to health - "with fear and trembling." No room here for programs, assessments, strategies - just plain humility, prayer, confession, forgiveness, and focusing on others with a mind to knowing and meeting their needs as they grow in Christ.

How quickly this health formula, admonished by Paul, would heal broken people in unhealthy churches if it were applied in our day.


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