12 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.
We live in a world that requires us to take a righteous stand without having the masses back us because God makes it to be so that we don’t trust in people but trust in Him alone (Jer17:5, 7). Though we are saved by grace (2Tim1:9), works is the evidence of our change in heart (Ezek36:26-27/Jn3:3/Phil1:6), which turns from serving ourselves to serving God.
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
If you look at the definition of Israel from the perspective of Phil1:29, we get a glimpse of God’s might and sovereignty. The Church is the new Israel (Gen32:28), whose name signifies one who strives against God and men, and prevails. This is best explained from Dan 3:8-28; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace for not paying homage to the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. Now you see, to the world this may seem as the repercussions for being righteous. However, this is merely God sanctifying His people in the furnace of affliction (Ps119:71-75). Why, because God is worth it (Phil1:29). So, who sustains His Church in the furnace, it is God Himself. He is like a silver smith who fans the flame of the furnace while holding the silver in a crucible to purify the silver. So it is with the Sovereign Lord, who sanctifies us in this world into the likeness of His Son (Rom8:29).
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In Jesus is life and in Him we turn from serving ourselves to serving God. In serving God we acquaint ourselves with holy fear, which drives us to live our lives according to the Moral Law, not because we otherwise don’t want to but because we realize the sheer weight of God’s good pleasure in our existence. The world lives by a counterfeit standard of religion, where wickedness is the very means of their survival and so they are given to act unrighteously under the sway of Satan (1Jn5:19). True religion on the other hand understands our life and its sustenance is practically in the hands of God and so just as the world is given to unrighteousness from unholy fear of wicked repercussions, so too the Godly are given to act righteously from the holy fear of God.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
This is what separates the world from God’s Church, the world is given to wear the mark of the beast on their right hand and forehead from their fallen desire for counterfeit religion (Rev13:16-17), while His Church is given to wear the Moral Law on their right hand and forehead (Deut6:8) owing to Jesus who has propitiated their sinful nature (1Jn4:10) unto the righteousness of God (Rom5:17). Please note that to wear something on the forehead and right hand symbolizes one who thinks (wear on the forehead) and acts (wear on the right hand) from that particular standpoint.
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
If you were to go through the TULIP, you would come across the Perseverance of the Saints and this is precisely it, because to Persevere in His righteousness in the midst of Trial even with fear and trembling is to wait on the Lord, just like the parable of the ten virgins, where the righteous five are given to burn the oil in their lamps in waiting for the Lord (Mat25:3-4) because I guess burning the oil in their lamps is synonymous with exercising the righteousness of God while waiting on Him and trusting in Him to bring that breakthrough in His time.
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
To conclude, Salvation is in knowing Jesus Christ is Lord over your life, meaning your life is accountable to Him. With such a godly bearing on life, we are to persevere in the righteousness of God because though the godless masses may seem like Goliath before you, it is only to provoke that holy fear in you to God’s own glory because He is worth all your anxiety in following after Him. After all, He is God! In any case, knowing Jesus as Lord over your life empowers you by His Holy Spirit (Phil4:13), making you capable to do His good pleasure and who then can be against you when God is for you (Rom8:31) because you are learning to want what God wants (Ps37:4) and there is no stopping you then.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.