Summary: The Master Craftsman continues His "Good Work" in you with the intent of making you like Christ, In this sermon we discuss the processes God uses to make purity & maturity possible.
FROM START TO FINISH
4. THE PROCESS
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.
God is the Master Craftsman. He who created the worlds by the word of His power now wants to do a Good Work in our hearts and lives. This Good Work begins the day He saves us from our sin. This transformative event is the first work of grace. He forgives our sins. He gives us new life. He accepts us into His family. The old passes away and He makes all things new.
His plan is to make us Christ-like so that our lives will bring untarnished glory to God.
It makes sense that He begins with salvation. Here He deals with our ACTS OF SIN! The issue here is God wants you to stop your misbehaving! You can’t be a Christian if you are sinning. Sin is when you willfully choose to do what you know is wrong.
Have you told a lie? What does that make you? A Liar? Are Christians liars? Will liars go to heaven? Revelation 21:8 gives the answer to that if you want to check it out just to make sure.
Have you ever stolen anything? What does that make you? A thief? Are Christians thieves? No. In fact, when salvation came to Zaccheus’ home he made restitution and restored all that he had stolen.
Do you ever get intoxicated? Do you have sexual relationships outside of marriage? Do you have fits of rage? Do you like causing division and fights? Are people that do these things Christians? Will they go to heaven? Galatians 5:19-21 gives the answer pretty plainly with this conclusion: that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
So the first work of grace, salvation, deals with the acts of sin—the willful choices to disobey the God’s known laws. He begins his Good Work by forgiving you for all of the acts of sins you have committed in the past. And He gives you a new start to live differently by His grace and enabling power.
Is God’s Work done here? No, this is just the beginning! Remember the Master Craftsman’s purpose is that we be conformed to the image of His Son. Salvation takes care of the rebellious acts of sin and works to straighten out wrong behavior. This is a dramatic beginning so that we may say that one is no longer a sinner but now a Christian.
What Good Work is continuing in the life of the new Christian? The Master Craftsman still works to make the whole life and person Christlike and godly.
What areas need work?
Tonight, we’ll look at the 2 primary areas where we need God to continue to work in us and on us after we are saved.
1) The Two Problems in Christians: Immaturity & Impurity
A person may have been forgiven for every Act of Sin they have committed and be walking by faith in obedience, yet there is still boundless possibilities for improvement by the grace and power of God.
We will always be human, but we don’t always need to be immature. We will always be human, but we don’t have to forever suppress the selfish nature of sin. We can cleansed of this inward impurity.
We will always be human, still have aches and pains, weaknesses, infirmities, afflictions, tests, trials, lapses of judgement, mistakes, forgetfulness, thoughtlessness, etc. that hinder us from serving God with angelic perfection, but that doesn’t mean we always have to be immature, selfish dimwits. We can have holy hearts and a depth and maturity… godly saints.
2. God’s Work on these two problems.
A. Gaining Maturity
Illustration from William C. Shereos via sermonillustrations.com > In The Last Days Newsletter, Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?"
The old man replied, "Nope, only babies."
A frothy question brought a profound answer. There are no instant heroes--whether in this world or in the kingdom of God.
When we are saved, we have new life in Christ and we start to grow! We begin to mature. We are babes in Christ and God wants us to be grow up and mature.
How does this work? Now God is a Master Craftsman and remember He has creative ability to use endless circumstances to teach us lessons and help us with the maturing process.
In every process, a sensitivity to the voice of God in prayer, Bible reading, and the voice of the Holy Spirit in our conscience is will drastically improve the process.