October 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering – Work Out Your Own Salvation
This month, the October 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable talks about grace and works from “Philippians 2:12–13, Do we “work out [our] own salvation”?” in the Come, Follow Me manual and Tad R. Callister’s April 2019 General Conference talk.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons and General Conference into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society or Sunday School.
Download October 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (Red Version) (Green Version)
I loved the analogy of the parachute so much that I decided to pair the printable with one of those cute toy parachutes.
October 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
Work Out Your Own Salvation
I remember when I was younger and would hear people talk about not fully understanding the Atonement. I thought they were crazy. The Atonement was simple. We are separated from Heavenly Father by spiritual and physical death. Christ conquered physical death through the resurrection and spiritual death by suffering for our sins. Easy, right? And like the gospel, it is pure and simple. But also like the gospel, it is vast and eternal. The more we dig in, the more we find and the more questions we have. I now know better. I have a testimony of the Atonement, but I am constantly learning what that means and how it impacts me.
Grace or Works?
One of the big questions people often have about the Atonement is are we saved by grace or works? In Philippians 2:12, Paul tells the saints to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” So does that mean we are saved by our own efforts? Or in Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Which one is it? If a friend asks you, does your church believe we are saved by grace or works, how do you answer?
A Spiritual Parachute
We believe that we need both works and the grace of Jesus Christ to be saved. The two work hand in hand. During the April 2019 General Conference, I loved Brother Callister’s analogy of how the two work together.
Suppose for a moment a man contemplating an exhilarating free fall makes a rash decision and spontaneously jumps from a small plane. After doing so, he quickly realizes the foolishness of his actions. He wants to land safely, but there is an obstacle—the law of gravity. He moves his arms with astounding speed, hoping to fly, but to no avail. He positions his body to float or glide to slow the descent, but the law of gravity is unrelenting and unmerciful. He tries to reason with this basic law of nature: “It was a mistake. I will never do it again.” But his pleas fall on deaf ears. The law of gravity knows no compassion; it makes no exceptions. Fortuitously, though, the man suddenly feels something on his back. His friend in the plane, sensing the moment of foolishness, had placed a parachute there just before the jump. He finds the rip cord and pulls it. Relieved, he floats safely to the ground. We might ask, “Was the law of gravity violated, or did that parachute work within that law to provide a safe landing?”
When we sin, we are like the foolish man who jumped from the plane. No matter what we do on our own, only a crash-landing awaits us. We are subject to the law of justice, which, like the law of gravity, is exacting and unforgiving. We can be saved only because the Savior, through His Atonement, mercifully provides us with a spiritual parachute of sorts. If we have faith in Jesus Christ and repent (meaning we do our part and pull the rip cord), then the protective powers of the Savior are unleashed on our behalf and we can land spiritually unharmed.
We Need Grace and Works
Like Brother Callister says, we need both the parachute and to pull the rip cord. If we have the parachute and don’t pull the rip cord, it isn’t going to do us any good. Or if we try to pull the rip cord, but don’t have a parachute, we are left with our own limited arm flapping.
Understanding this is important to me because it is easy to get discouraged when I see my own meager abilities. I look at all I can do and it isn’t very much. I will fall short. But according to the Bible Dictionary, grace “is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.… It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.”
God’s Grace is There Every Step of the Way
In fact, after Paul tells us to work out our own salvation in verse 12, he reminds us in verse 13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” It is God’s grace that helps us want to do better and then helps us to do better. The Lord is there every step of the way. He helps us not to want to fall, then helps us not to fall, and then helps us get up if we do fall. So if I feel like I am not good enough, that is totally true. But that isn’t the point of the Atonement. It is about whether or not we will rely on the Lord as we work out our salvation. It is about humility, not ability.