Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
I. WHAT ABE WE TO UNDERSTAND HERE BY SALVATION?
1. Freedom from our misery.
(1) Guilt of sin (Galatians 3:22; Matthew 1:20).
(2) Strength of corruption (Romans 7:24; Acts 3:26).
(3) Power of Satan (1 Peter 5:8).
(4) Wrath of God (Psalm 8:11).
(5) Eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).
2. Advancement to happiness:(1) In this life, consisting in God's love to us (Psalm 30:5) and our love to Him.
(2) In the life to come — consisting in the perfection of our souls (Hebrews 12:23) and in the enjoyment of God (John 17:5, 24).
II. WHAT BY WORKING OUT?
1. Our making use of all the means appointed by God for this end (Matthew 6:33).
2. Continuing the use of them until we have attained the end (Acts 13:43; Romans 12:12).
III. WHAT BY FEAR AND TREMBLING?
1. Not with pride (1 John 1:1-8).
2. Nor presumption (Psalm 19:13).
3. Nor carnal security (1 Peter 5:8).
4. But with a holy fear.
(1) Lest we should go the wrong way, or make use of the wrong means (Romans 10:2).
(2) Lest we should fail in the use of the right means (Hebrews 4:1).
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.