The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Our Works Or His?"
Part 2 - Salvation: Root and Fruit
As mentioned in Part 1 of this consideration, God's standard far exceeds our ability to fulfill: "as for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). This was true regarding the beginning of our relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ - "He… hath begun a good work in you." It is is also true regarding the outworking of our salvation: "He… shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
Interestingly, the Christ who serves as our Savior also serves as God's standard of life and behavior. "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). The Lord Jesus is human as God made and demands humanity to be. Without relinquishing His divinity, the Lord Jesus "was made flesh" to first perfectly live as human beings should live, and then to perfectly die for us because we do not attain to the standard (John 1:14). He then rose again, ascended to Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within those who believe. Thereby we are progressively empowered to "walk, even as He walked" in our present life, and in the life to come, to perfectly live in conformity to the image of our Savior - "we shall be like Him" (I John 2:6; 3:2). Our only hope for such a life is the One who "is our life" (Colossians 3:4). Thus, we trust Him for the fruits of our salvation no less than we trusted Him to serve as the root of our salvation. Or, to borrow from an Old Testament description of God's working in Israel, we "take root downward and bear fruit upward" (Isaiah 37:31).
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).
In essence, believers work for God by working from God. His indwelling Spirit ever moves within us in motivating and enabling influence - "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Our role involves trusting that such freely given grace is true, and then submitting our Christ-inhabited selves and our human faculties to God in confident expectation that our Lord walks in us even we walk by Him (Romans 6:11-13). "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). His works in us lead to our works for Him. This sequence of grace received by faith that originated our Christian life continues as we seek to walk in faithful devotion to the glory and will of God. Indeed, that which happened in the first blessed moment of relationship with God serves as the pattern both now and evermore…
"This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sent… Now the God of peace, that brought again the Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working that which is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen."
(John 6:29; Hebrews 13:20-21)
Weekly Memory Verse
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue."
(II Peter 1:3)