…work out your salvation…it is God (Himself) who (performs the) works in you to will and to act (perform) in order to fulfill His good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13 NIV). Of course, Christians don’t work “for” our salvation, it’s a gift from Jesus who did all the work for us. God now continues His work by giving us the amazing ability, or talent in which to perform, in order to fulfill His good purpose. And, as a miraculous bonus, He gives us the will, or desire to do so. And, don’t we all take great joy in doing the things we love to do? I’m so grateful for this additional bonus, because I don’t believe I would have the will/desire to fulfill His good purpose all on my own human will power.
Now, since it is “…God who works…”, I can grab a bag of chips and just sit on the couch and watch Him work around me, right? Not at all. Yes, God provides everything including the hands, feet, voice, talent, etc. needed. But we still have to choose to yield to Him the use of “our” faculties so He can accomplish His work. Working out our salvation, as opposed to working “for” our salvation, means we now partner with God, by actually choosing to do that for which we’ve been individually gifted. In sports, one who is supernaturally gifted didn’t work “for” that gift, but now must work out “in” that giftedness to become better and better. And gifted ones who also desire to work out actually take great joy in performing well.
Once supernaturally saved and being blessed with the gifting of the Holy Spirit for awesome works, we get that bonus miracle of “will” or “desire” to work out our salvation and become better and better Christians. And, this is evidenced by our progressive movement to the center of God’s Kingdom.