Summary: Sermon of God’s work in us
GOD’S CONTINUING WORK
Though her name is lost to history, the woman who finished last in the 1912 Shawnee Invitation for Ladies in Pennsylvania will live on as an essay of determination and perseverance. She teed off the 16th hole, where her ball went directly into a nearby river. She gamely set out in a row boat to play the ball. When she finally had succeeded in playing the ball out of the water, it landed in dense woods. From the woods she managed to get the ball into the rough, from there she hit the ball into a sand trap, then back into the rough. After much effort she finally got the ball into the cup. He final score for the hole, was 166. Now for those who are not golfers, the par for the hole is 4, which is how many times you should hit the ball to get it into the cup.
So we see in this woman, one who set out to accomplish something, and was determined to finish the work she had set out to do. I however piety the foursome that was playing behind this lady.
Today we are going to talk about perseverance and the work in which God has begun in us. And just as the woman was determined to finish her work, God promises us that he will finish the work he has begun in us.
We are continuing our look into the book of Philippians, as we look at the last part of verse 5, and verse 6 of chapter
1. Turn with me there as we read that passage; "from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"
Now we of course cannot just pull this verse out of the Bible with out considering it’s context. Paul is continuing in his prayer for the Philippians. As we see in the verse 3 he thanks God for the saints at Philippi. He states he remembers then always, in every prayer he prays, and he prays for them with a sense of joy, because as we saw last week they share with Paul a fellowship or as we noted a common interest. Paul specifically mentions that fellowship of the gospel. The common interest in seeing the good new of Jesus Christ our Lord spread to others. Paul goes on say that he is confident that the work which God had begun in them will continue on until the day of Jesus Christ, that is that return of Jesus. And as we read and study the book of Philippians we can see that the work that God began in them is indeed continuing on today.
While Paul wrote this to the Philippians, God through His Holy Spirit also wrote this to us. What Paul says is true for them, is true for us. So lets us take a look at the work which God has begun in us.
The first thing I would like to not concerning the work that God had begun in us is the time frame which the passage points out. As the passage states the work began "from the first day". Now some may say that the "first day" means the first day which Paul preached the gospel to those in Philippi, as seen in Acts 16. But I would suggest the "first day" goes back even further then that. We should realize that God’s work in us, goes back further then the day when we profess Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It is God’s work in us that brings us to that point.
So how did God’s work begin in us? I believe we can look to that Fellowship with the triune God that we spoke of last week for the answer. Remember that scripture speaks of fellowship with the Father, fellowship with the Son, and a fellowship with the Holy Spirit. And we see each person of the Godhead play a part in the work which is begun in us.
We see it in the Love of the Father. John 3:16 a verse we all know, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
God work in us extents before the creation of time. Before any of us even existed God determined that He would sent his son to die for us. Why? Not because we deserved it. Not because He has found a basic good in us. But because He loved us. It was the love which the Father had for us that began the work of God in us.
We can also trace this work of God in us to the work of the Son. If God had not acted on the love in which He had for us it would do us no good. That love he had for us is seen in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. When we place our trust in Christ as our personal Saviour, we trust in the work which he as done for us. Scripture states that we are a new creation