Summary: Examining the fact that God is working out a greater plan in our lives.
Work In Progress
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In the manufacturing industry there is a phrase that is often used to refer to goods that are no longer raw materials but also not yet a finished product. The phrase is "Work In Progress". Years ago I was working in the shipping department for a company that made shelving units for big box stores. It was amazing to unload one truck that had nothing on it but raw steel and then later load another with a fully functional complete product. Everyday I would walk through that plant and watch the manufacturing process. One employee would cut the steel in to smaller pieces. He would send it down the line to another who would bend the steel into the correct shape. Then another employee would drill holes in the proper places. After all the pieces were fabricated they would be cleaned and sent to the paint booth. After coming out of paint they would be assembled. Then the final product would be packed and labeled for shipping. It is fascinating to watch someone make something out of nothing!
For those of us who are saved, we are all "Works In Progress" . We are no longer raw material, but we are FAR from a finished product....(some of us are farther away than others!). As a pastor, there is nothing more fulfilling than watching a Christian grow and mature in the faith.
Sometimes Christians have a tendency to look at a new believer and expect them to act as if they had been saved for decades. They will falter and fail and we are quick to point out their flaws. We may even go as far as to question their salvation. The fact of the matter is that they are a "work in progress". They are "spiritual babes" learning how to walk! All believers are involved in the sanctification process! And we all have a long way to go. But we have a loving God Who is constantly working on us. We are clay in the hands of the potter...and He is molding and making us into what HE would have us to be.
I am reminded of the song we used to sing when we were children entitled "He's Still Working On Me". It said:
"There really ought to be a sign upon my heart"
"Don't judge me yet, there's an unfinished part"
"But I'll be perfect just according to His plan"
"Fashioned by the Master's loving hands"
"He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be"
There is some great truth in that little song! In the first chapter of this Epistle, Peter has revealed some of the ways that God is "working on" His people. One prominent section of that chapter is where he describes the "purification process". (I Peter 1:6-7). He also describes the glory of our salvation. (I Peter 1:10-12) And to close out the chapter he speaks of the importance of holiness. (I Peter 1:13-23) As we enter into chapter 2 of this epistle, The Apostle speaks of progress or "growth" in the Christian life. He speaks of salvation, turning away from sin, the importance of God's Word and the fact that we can and should "delight in the Lord". I would like to look at this growth process and preach on the thought "Work In Progress"
In order to see the entirety of this "Work In Progress" we must back up to chapter 1 verse 25. It is there we will see the importance of:
I. Depending On Christ - 1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Here Peter speaks of the "gospel" that was preached. The "gospel" is the good news of salvation though Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:21 ... it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. - We cannot underestimate the preaching of the gospel in the salvation process. The Christian in Asia Minor whom Peter was writing to received the gospel through the preaching of the Word. The context of these verses refers to the importance of God's Word.
Look to verse 2 for a moment - "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word". Here Peter refers to the "spiritual birth" . The greatest explanation of the "spiritual birth" comes from none other than Jesus Christ. A Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus came to Jesus one night. And began to speak to Him. Jesus told him in John 3:3 that "unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” --- John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.