Why do I think “sin” when I’m “saved?”

Continue to work out your salvation 
with fear and trembling

Philippians 2:12 NIV

Today's Scripture: Philippians 2:12-13

Growth is a school that we never get to graduate from. One of my most loved African proverbs is that you cannot stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from perching. This, I believe, describes the life of the believer in the midst of a “believer-less” world. If you have ever caught yourself asking, “Why am I thinking this or that?”, “Why did I just say that?”, or “I should not have done that”, then today’s entry is for you.

In today’s Scripture, Paul admonishes the believers to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. However, the same Paul said that we are saved by grace through faith. So why do we still need to “do” anything? As a believer who is not of the world, but is in the world, you are “vulnerable” (and I use that term loosely) to the trends and situations around you. But before we jump into knowing why you think “sin” even though you are “saved”, we should understand the context that Paul was speaking from.

From verses 1-11, he talks about Jesus and how HE exemplifies what it means to live life the way it ought to be. Paul tells the people that Jesus was obedient unto the cross, and because of that obedience, Jesus is now lifted high and honored above all. Then he transitioned into the instruction with a “therefore”; The Message translation says, “What I’m getting at…”

What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.


Paul definitely understood that our salvation as believers is made possible by faith in the one and only true God, Jesus Christ. However, we live out that new status through conscious efforts. Salvation grants you and me capacity and positioning to do as God wills. In the same vein, it requires that we consciously check our lives – our thoughts, our words, and our attitudes, and ensure that they align with God’s will.

The charge to you today is to understand that the battle between thinking sin whilst being saved is not a strange battle, but it should not be allowed. And guess what? You have every power inside of you to conquer that war. What to do?

Action Point: Yield yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit at every point. Pray. Keep focus on what is important. Never ignore the warning signs. Confront them and overcome. Smile!

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