Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
Like the man in the old heathen fable, condemned to roll a ball up a steep hill, no sooner do we gain a step, than sin tries by its own weight to roll down again and drag us with it. Like our countrymen at the heights of the Alma, the repentant Christian has to force his way upwards to the skies in the face of enemies already entrenched in strong position in his heart, and like them he can only ensure success by the exercise of a vigorous will, assisted in the spiritual warfare by Him who is "mighty to save."
(G. Huntington, M. A.)
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.