God completes the work in me, as perfectly as he began it.

He who began a good work

God completes the work in me, just as perfectly as he began it.  This is post 3 of a 31 days series: Losing My Religion, Finding My Savior.  For the next 18 days, I will continue sharing the ways in which Holy Spirit convicted me of placing my trust in myself, even when I believed myself to be trusting and following Christ. If you want to catch up, you can go here and read all my posts in the series

Starting with Scripture

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:1-6

Context

This letter is written by Paul, who is imprisoned in Rome.  He writes to the church at Philippi. God used Paul to plant the church through some incredible circumstances. You really ought to re-read that passage Acts 15:36-16:40. In story, it shows the truth of Philippians 1:6:  God does the work in our hearts.

I deceive myself

God begins the work in us and he carries it on to completion.  I’ve never been one to think that  works bring my salvation.  I do not light candles, pray rosaries, make sacrifices. I know that Jesus did that on the cross and did what I cannot do.  However, I slip into trusting my actions to keep me close to God.

Our actions don’t keep us right with God. Christ did that work, Christ is doing that work. 

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2: 12-13

Like a sheep

All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6

I want to reiterate that I really believed myself to be trusting God, and following Christ.  My actions were mostly good, mostly biblical.  However, my heart slipped away and I began unconsciously trusting my righteous choices to keep me close to God. I’m like the sheep that the good shepherd left the fold to seek out.

Slipping into sin, even with good actions

Pray. Read the Bible. Fellowship with other Believers. Have you heard this short list of things to do?  They are wise things to do, I consider them blessings that enrich my life, when I do them. Did you ever consider it to aid in your salvation? I now realize that I have.

The subtle, oh it is so subtle, belief that these actions aid our salvation is pride at work in our hearts. Sin starts in our hearts long before it gets to our actions, it is stills in even others cannot see it. Matthew 5:21-30

A polluted garment

We have the ability to do admirable works, talent and intelligence can bring us very far, but none of it has any worth if it is not God at work. It matters not if we carry this into our personal life, our home, or our ministry,  trust in our actions is not trusting God. None of it has any value if it is not God at work.

We have all become like one who is unclean 

and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. 

We all fade like a leaf, 

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah 64:6

Let me repeat that, none of our attempts have ANY value. If the things we do are not born of the leading of the Holy Spirit, it’s all for nothing.

Our actions don’t keep us right with God. Our actions don’t bring people to God. Christ did that work, Christ is doing that work, Christ will do that work.  As his children, we have the honor of participating, but we do not bring it about.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:14-17

We need not fear, God is at work in our lives.

Faith and Fear

We need not fear.  Perfect love cast out all fear, after all.  His love for us is perfect.  God is faithful, we can trust him with our salvation. If we trust him with our salvation, surely we can trust him with our personal lives, with our ministry endeavors.  We don’t need to build in structure to ensure that God’s will goes forward, it will. We can certainly have structure, but it has no value in and of itself.  It may tend to lead our hearts astray into trusting the plan, the organization, the good acts.

God will complete the work in me

I am so humbled by God and so thankful how he worked in my heart through this sermon, which brought my attention to his word.  I didn’t even ask, God did it.

Philippians 1:6

 

Leave a Comment

*

In the spirit of transparency, this website uses affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase following one of the links I provide, I may receive a commission from that sale. Please know that I recommend only products I believe in and use (or my wish-list items). Being affiliate allows me to produce content for you, free-of-charge, and be a financial blessing to my family. Thank you!