“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” (Philippians 1:6)
When I was young, I heard a song that had the lines, “He’s still working on me; to make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be – He’s still working on me!” The point is that God, in His infinite greatness, created everything around us in a matter of days. And yet He shows an infinitely greater amount of love and patience by the continual work He is doing in His children.
In writing to the Church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul highlights this same thought that God is doing a continual work in each of us. The Potter is molding and shaping and conforming us by progressive steps in order to make us into His image (Romans 8:29). What a great work this is! What was set forth at the outset of Creation (“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” – Genesis 1:26), was eternally secured by the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross (Hebrews 9:11-12), and is experienced daily as we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Paul says our confidence is in the fact that God has begun this great work of regeneration, and that He will not forsake the work of His hands (Psalm 138:8)! Our confidence is that He will continue working in us both the desire and the power to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), and that He will perform this work “until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). This is “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe… in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10). It has to do with Christ (the mind of Christ; Philippians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16) being formed in the saints (Galatians 4:19); “To the intent that now… might be known by the church [by the saints, as evidence of] the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10).
Reader, Child of Grace, God is not through with you. Oh, if we could just grasp the magnitude of this fact! No matter how long you have been walking with the Lord; no matter where life has taken you or what mountain-top experiences you’ve had; no matter where you find yourself at the end of the day – God is NOT through with you! God is a God of purpose, and He is always working this purpose out in our lives. How great a purpose it is: to conform us into His own image, to bring us to a position of Oneness with Himself in knowledge and experience (John 17:21-24). It is an ever-deepening, loving relationship with Himself, and it requires the continual working of God in us.
Paul tells us that God is still working on us and in us. We are not yet what we are going to be (1 John 3:2). We may not even be what we want to be. But according to the effectual working of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Ephesians 3:7; 4:16), we are being built-up, strengthened, and conditioned to be more than we could ever be on our own. God is working on us to make us “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Our comfort; our assurance; our confidence is that God has begun a good work in us, and that He will continue this work of regeneration in making us into His image – Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15), for that is what and who we ought to be.