“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Paul clearly expresses great confidence in God’s work in the lives of the church members at Philippi. What encouragement we find in this powerful statement! We have all felt the frustration of our own failures and disappointments. We wonder if we will ever become all that God has declared we should be. Paul knew, and we can know, that what has been initiated in the life of a true believer, will one day be completed.
We do not come to this confidence by examining our own ability or determination, but rather by understanding the great work of redemption. Salvation is in every way, a divine work, a work of Almighty God. This cannot be overstated. The new birth is not accomplished by the will of man. Although we must by faith respond to the Gospel by trusting Christ as our Savior, the regenerating work in our lives is the work of the Spirit of God. The moment a repentant sinner receives Christ and His promise of salvation, he is eternally saved. Our salvation, as far as our eternal relationship with God and Heaven being our final destination, is secure the moment we receive God’s gift of eternal life.
However, God’s work in our lives is not finished at that moment. He has “begun a good work” in us. That work of grace in the lives of His children will continue until it is complete, and it is our duty and privilege to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His perfect will in us. When we are saved, He forgives us of our sins and indwells us by His Spirit. But, He continues the process of spiritual growth and godliness.
We should be committed to seeing the work of spiritual growth and sanctification continue in our lives; but even more so, we can be completely certain God is committed to it. God will continue this work in those who truly belong to Him. We may be tempted to give up on ever becoming Christ-like, but God will not give up. Beloved, if you are saved, God is not finished with you yet. He will not abandon His work. A part of His work is to conform us to the image of His Son. That work will not be complete until we are finally taken to Heaven, and are in our glorified state. It will continue all of our days, “until the day of Jesus Christ.” In this reassuring truth, we find patience and hope as we deal with the imperfections in our lives and in the lives of others.