Transformed into the likeness of Christ

The blog below was chosen in response to this episode.


So then, my beloved, just as you 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; (Philippians 2:12 NASB)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said on the Cross, “it is finished” (John 19:30 NASB), yet Paul said in his Epistle to the Philippians, “work out your salvation in fear and trembling?”

A simple theology of the Cross will answer this question.

On Mount Calvary, we were delivered from the penalty of sin. Now, we are being delivered from the power of sin, and one day we will be delivered from the presence of sin. Salvation is immediate and complete; there is nothing that we can add to it. Yet, sanctification is an ongoing process of being delivered from the power of sin. In this progression, we do play a part. One day, when we see Christ face-to-face, we will be delivered from the presence of sin.

To understand our salvation, we must comprehend our imputed and imparted righteousness. Righteousness is both declared but also demonstrated. At the Cross, Christ assumes our sin, and we are declared innocent; we are credited as righteous as if we have never sinned. Yet, at the moment of salvation, sanctification commences, and the power of sin in our lives starts to be broken; we are being transformed into the likeness of Christ. So, we are righteous in standing, but we are being made righteous in practice, and on this earth, we will always be in process.

Though we have not yet completed the race, rejoice because glorification in not in question—For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6 NASB).



Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

Ken’s Website—
Ken blogs at

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