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 1:6)
Because we are not home yet, we are not yet what God intends us to be. John Newton, the former slaver who is best known for writing the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” said it best:
I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we live within the tension of the “Already” and “Not Yet.” In the eyes of God, we are already perfected, having been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb and clothed in the rich robes of the righteousness of Christ. When Jesus came out of the water of the Jordan after being baptized by John the Baptist, heaven opened up and God declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God speaks this over each one of us who are in Christ. God is well pleased with us because He is well pleased with Jesus.
However, in the reality of our daily lives, we are all too painfully aware that we are not yet perfected. We are undergoing the process called sanctification. God is growing us up into Christ and making us more and more like Him by any means necessary. We are not yet what God’s grace intends for us to be, but we have been given glorious the promise that one day we will be! God will not stop short of perfecting us as we make our way into glory. Today’s verse tells us that the good work God began in us He has promised to complete.
And God always keeps His promises! Numbers 23:19 assures us that “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). No matter how unfaithful we might be, God’s faithfulness to us never fails (2 Timothy 2:13). God does not get angry with us. God does not grow weary of us. God never exasperatedly asks Himself why in the world He gave His beloved Son to save broken, sin-stained sinners like you and me. God loves us, and He will continue leading us along the pathway of life through every imaginable kind of season, each one designed to cause us to decrease and Jesus to increase in our lives. The road ahead is under construction, and for that I am eternally grateful!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!