Discipleship 12 – work it out!

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on God’s role and our role in our progressive salvation.


Philippians 2:12-13

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Observations and reflections

  1. To get a more accurate grip on what Paul is saying, briefly summerise his exhortation above in each paragraph:
    1. Verses 1-4
    2. Verses 5-8
    3. Verses 9-11
    4. Verses 12-13
  2. We will focus on the last paragraph (v12-13):
    1. Does this scripture teach salvation should be earned? Why / why not?
    2. What “work” regarding our salvation should the believers do? (Consider the context of the instruction)
    3. Why does he say qualify the “working out” with the phrase “with fear and trembling”? [hint: consider the context – also verses 9-11]
    4. What “work” does God do regarding our [ongoing] salvation according to verse 13?
    5. What does Paul mean with “to will and to act in order to fulfill his purpose”? (verse 13). Say this in your own words.
    6. What role does Paul, the Apostle, plays in the ongoing salvation of the Philippians, according to verses 12-13? And what does that suggest about the role of other believers (and in particular church leadership) in ongoing salvation of believers in general?

Application and prayer

Take a moment and reflect on God’s ongoing process of salvation in your life [a.k.a holiness or sanctification].

  1. PAST: Think about a specific spiritual victory in your life, such as overcoming a particular sinful habit or notable character flaw.
    1. What steps have you taken in the past to overcome?
    2. In retrospect, can you recognize the work of God to give you the desire and ability to grow in holiness in that particular instance? Describe it.
    3. What role did other believers play in growing this steps towards holiness?
    1. What desires for holiness or God’s purpose for your life can you articulate at present? (One clear example will suffice).
    2. What steps must you take to respond to God’s work in your life in this instance?
    3. What help do you need from Christian leaders or friends?
    4. Send a message to an accountability partner / Christian friend and tell him/ her about this prompting of God, your intention and then ask for help.


Thank God for the areas where he worked in you to give the desire and ability to fulfill his will.  Celebrate the growth in Christlikeness!  Again, pray “that Christ may be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19) – then commit to “work out your [gift of] salvation” in light of Christ’s return, and ask God for his empowerment and wisdom to complete His work in you!

Holy Spirit 8

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on God’s intent of infilling with the Holy Spirit.


Exodus 31:1-11

1  The LORD said to Moses, 2  “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4  to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5  in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

6  And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7  the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, 8  the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, 9  and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10  and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11  and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”


Note: the context of this instruction of the Lord happened when Moses was called to the top of the mountain, just after the Exodus, to receive the Law of God by which God covenanted with the nation of Israel.

  1. When you think of someone being filled with the Holy Spirit, what comes to mind?
  2. Why did God choose Bazalel and fill him with His Spirit?
  3. When did God fill him with the Spirit? (What is the context of this person being filled – what do we know of him/ these people?)
  4. Why was it necessary for God to fill Bazalel with his Spirit to do these tasks? (Think of what this man did until that point in time…).  And what was the (intended) result of the Spirit’s infilling with in his life?
  5. If you were to give one descriptive word for the “supernatural ability” that came through the infilling of the Spirit of God to this man – what would that attribute be? [hint: v4]
  6. After God filled Bazalel with his Spirit to be able to do the things, who did the work?


  1. Do you think it foreign/ strange that God would fill someone with his Holy Spirit to do woodwork and metalwork and mix oils etc? Why/ why not?
  2. What other character(s) can you think of in the Bible who were filled with the Holy Spirit to do things outside of preaching and ministry?
  3. We are used to think that God empowers people to work in “church life”. Why would God want to fill someone with his Spirit for something beyond preaching and ministry?
  4. Do you think God would want to empower you through his Spirit to do “everyday” work for his glory? Why/ why not?

Application and prayer

Spend some time to pray to God to empower you for your everyday life that he may be glorified and that the world may be blessed by God through your exceptional service.  And pray to God for the gift of creativity – to access his thoughts through to solve problems in a way we could not think of through the enablement of his Spirit!  Lastly, ask God for help with specific things you ought to do – through his Holy Spirit!