“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
Galatians 1:15, 16
Paul always made much of the work of God’s grace in the life of the believer. God calls us by His grace, saves us by grace, and uses us by grace. Christ is made known to us by grace, is revealed in us by grace, and is manifested through us by grace. Jesus is revealed in our lives, and then He is revealed through our lives. Paul’s words are, “To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.” God works in us that He might then work through us.
This is, in a sentence, how the Christian life works. Christ is revealed in a person’s life and then through that person’s life. No matter how much a person may want God to use him, working through him for His glory, it cannot happen until He first does something in him. Likewise, if a person is truly saved, meaning that God has done and is doing a work in him, He intends to do a work through him.
The work of grace in our lives begins with salvation. When a sinner heeds the call and responds by repentance and faith, trusting Jesus alone for salvation, he or she is born again by the Spirit of God. A miracle takes place in the life of that person as he instantly and eternally becomes a new creature in Christ. This is the initial work of Christ in the believer, but the work of God in us does not end there. This is the beginning of His transforming work.
Christ’s work in us continues with the process of sanctification. There are many who profess to know the Lord, and yet are not concerned about their spiritual growth or lack of spiritual progress. They appear to have little interest in the continuing work of maturity God wants to continue in them. If we truly belong to Christ, His commitment is to conform us to the image of His Son.
Paul wrote in Galatians 4:19, “I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” The apostle wanted to see the work of Christ continue in the Galatian believers. He longed to see Christ formed in them. It was his passion to see those who claimed to know the Lord to become increasingly influenced and transformed by God’s work of grace in them. If we want Christ to be revealed through us in service and ministry, He must first be revealed in us.