Do We Contribute to Our Own Salvation?

We thank God for Jesus who made this righteousness possible. So, we see that the working of our salvation is not a reference to our righteous works. No, but the working out of my own salvation is expressing one’s salvation in spiritual growth and development. Contributing Writer
Jul 06, 2020
Do We Contribute to Our Own Salvation?

Salvation is the bedrock of our relationship with God, it is the reason we can say Abba, Father, knowing that he hears us, no matter what. And it is this salvation that has brought about peace and our righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and without this salvation, we will be wanderers.

God: The Giver of Salvation

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Salvation to mankind started by giving, God gave his only begotten son, he was delivered up because of our sins, our shortcomings, our inadequacies, not minding that he came to a world that did not accept him, a world that brutally rejected him, yet on the cross he died for you and me nonetheless. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

And this brought about the gift towards man, the gift of salvation (Romans 5:17-18), which reconciled man to God through the ministry of reconciliation. This ministry took away my guilt and justified me, giving me a right standing before God, which is why I can say, I am justified and sanctified, and this was my access to the throne room. I did not merit this salvation; it was not given to me because of my righteous act, No! Far from it, it was his mercy that saved me through regeneration.

He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having hope of salvation (Titus 3:5-7).

After offering his son Jesus Christ, the second part of John 3:16 comes to play, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Reading Romans 10:9-10, we see a relationship.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).

An offering was made — For us to believe

How do we go about this? — By confessing

What do we confess? — That Jesus is the Savior

How? — With our hearts and mouth

With this foundation in place, how then do we contribute to our salvation?

After confessing, we believe, we become saved; we become his children having access to heaven. It does not stop there; there is a place of growth. Just as a newborn grows from a baby to an adult, so also a born again (saved person) grows and that is where our contribution starts.

Us: Upon Receiving Salvation

Having confessed Christ and believed in him as my savior, the process of transformation begins, the test of faith, my hunger for spiritual food and maturity in Christ Jesus, holding fast my confession, not wavering, working in love and good works, not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together. These are my contributions upon receiving salvation (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Apostle Paul puts it better: 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will (Roman 12:1-2).

You and my contribution to the salvation we have received is to honor God by living a life well-pleasing. We should have the desire to grow in his knowledge, from babies taking milk to mature Christians eating solid food of the word of God. This contribution is made possible by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of sonship we received at adoption.

This Scripture buttresses this point: 

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Apostle Paul is not saying that salvation is merited through our own works, of course not, even the Bible says: 

As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).

All of us has become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags… (Isaiah 64:6).

We thank God for Jesus who made this righteousness possible. So, we see that the working of our salvation is not a reference to our righteous works. No, but the working out of my own salvation, the apostle Paul speaks about here, is expressing one’s salvation in spiritual growth and development as referred to in Hebrews 10:23-25.

To continue in this salvation, I should work at it, to preserve it to the end. This is how a believer is involved in salvation (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 3:14, 6:9-11; 2 Peter 1: 5-8). We should be mindful of it, work and guide it zealously, lest we fall from grace, we should guide it until the coming of the Lord. Set your mind upon it because it is God working in you, yours is to yield and obey him.

In working out our salvation, we should work at it with boldness, holiness, faithfulness, and godliness. We should grow spiritually and discipline our body from falling into sin, because as believers, our final place is to reign with God in heaven and this is what we are all aiming towards, being welcomed home by our heavenly father, and with all boldness like Paul say:

I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Paul, after his encounter on the road to Damascus, gave all his being to God, he was so devoted to preaching the gospel that when he started, people were afraid and questioned, is this not him who persecuted the church? Yet having met Christ, he surrendered all to him and preached zealously about Christ almost converting King Agrippa (Acts 26: 27-28).

Why Does This Matter?

In working out our salvation, we must hold fast to the end no matter the challenges.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written: “For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 35-39).

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/arkira

Jolaade Olatunbsoun is an experienced Christian writer, having written for clients, local churches, and youth fellowship. Jolaade’s focus is on expounding biblical passages and expressing God’s love through writing. Her writing infuses faith into daily life, helping readers grow in the knowledge and love of God and His words. Desiring to help people understand the Bible, maximize their potential, and have a deeper fellowship with God, Jolaade develops content for Sunday school materials, Christian material for books, devotionals, eBooks, articles, short stories, and poems. Her blog may be found here

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