So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Because they loved the Lord, the believers in Philippi desired to distinguish themselves in His service. Their self-life, with its competitive nature, may have caused them to jostle with one another, contending to be more effective than others. Because of this, Paul realized he could not yet allow himself to be martyred, for such a dear church was in need of his labor for their further salvation (1:24–25).
Adapted from Philippians: “That I May Gain Christ,” page 113.
Tomorrow: “Working Out Our Salvation” (4)