Summary: The Master Craftsman does GOOD WORK. His purpose is to make us Christ-like people. Holy and mature Christians despite our humanity.
FROM START TO FINISH
3. THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Philippians 1:6 (NIV) 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.
In the Gospel of Mark, we read in the 7th chapter of a handicapped man who was brought to Jesus. He was both mute and deaf. Jesus motions to him so he will understand what he is about to do. Then Jesus sighed deeply and said… Be Opened. And the man was healed. He could speak plainly. He could hear. Then notice the response of the crowd:
Mark 7:37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
In the last couple of weeks, we have considered the Good Work of the Master Craftsman. He has immeasurable skill, impeccable integrity, experience, and good plans. He begins His Good Work in us at Salvation… the 1st Work of Grace. This is a Transformative Experience by which an individual passes from death to life, receive forgiveness for sin, pardon for guilt. The sinner becomes a Christian. The rebellious traitor becomes a Child of the King. What a great beginning! And the work of God does not end with one big experience. This is the gate into the heavenly way. A good start for a good work.
Next week in the final message of the series, we will look at the processes God uses in our hearts and lives. This week, we want to consider what the finished product will look like. Philippians 1:6 (NIV) 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. So the key word for tonight is COMPLETION.
What does the Master Craftsman want the completed product to look like? We are not mindless lumps of clay that He is molding, or blocks of wood that He is carving. The Sovereign Craftsmen chose to grant free will to each of us. I think it would be helpful for us to understand what He is wanting to do in us. Trust in His wisdom and submission to His plan is of course the best way, (for what right does the lump of clay to question the Potter?). But what is His plan?
There are things in life that we may not ever figure out and we find comfort in the thought that “we will understand it better by and by”.
1. God’s Grand Design for Your Life in this world IS NOT really about You.
a. It’s not about making you happy… though you will find pleasures forevermore.
b. It is not about making you wealthy… though you find riches beyond compare.
c. It is not about making you more beautiful… though you will find the source of true beauty.
d. The highest aim of the Christian life is not even about making it to heaven… though the Christian will experience wonders beyond our wildest imagination in that heavenly place.
Luke 9:24-25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
If you spend your life in pursuit of happiness, seeking wealth etc you miss the purpose of living. So seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
e. In short, your life is not about you… It’s all about bringing Glory to God.
Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Read through Eph 1:3-14 and notice all that whole point of all of the beautiful and bountiful blessings of God’s work in us is so that we should be…
-holy and without blame before him in love—VS 4
-to the praise of the glory of his grace—aVS 6
-that we should be to the praise of his glory—VS 12
-unto the praise of his glory.—VS 14
Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
You see, when the Potter is finished, and the vessel is sitting on the shelf at a local merchant or even a gallery… No one praises the vase, the pitcher or the pot. But they take note, “What nice craftsmanship. Let’s see who made you. Yep, that’s what I thought. Always superior quality. You can always tell His pieces. Works of art really, but so useful.”
When you need a new skillet and go into Walmart or Target. You see the generic no-name skillet for $12. Right next to it is a skillet that looks very similar. It cost $18. BUT you recognize the brand name. You know that company makes good quality kitchenware. Your sauce pan set by the same company still looks great after 10 years. You buy the $18 skillet because you trust the quality of the brand.