Not one among us can perfect himself for God, except when God mightily works in us. He performs good works in us. Without them we cannot continue in perfection; we even face the possibility of losing the perfection He gave us through Christ. The work He begins in us is His will for us. By powerfully working it in us He keeps us in the way of perfection. Then, there is no fear of falling away. It is to begin a good work in us that God called us to be His sons. He makes it His duty to perfect the work He began in each of us that believed in Him. We are bound to remain perfect for Him. The reason God begins good works in us is for gospel’s ascendancy. And, many more become the called. Many are His works and of them He gives to each one a work as a measure. They are all in His word and appear through the Spirit. We are bound to guard the work He begins in us until the day of Christ with the power He grants us.
God does not leave out any Christian seeking His good work. He does not leave him or her unattended lest they will have no participation in His gospel. So, He begins His work in them and strengthens them for it. Christians of the past have been accustomed to this; they continued in faith. Being associated with the gospel is the only way for Christians to fulfill God’s desire and glorify Him. This guarantees them eternal life. Hence, Paul said, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). But, how or when does God begin a good work in us? It is by a faith that indicates a total submission to Him. Such faith also compels Him to fulfill His work in us. It separates us from the world, which in its sin nature does not consider the nature of God. Everyone receiving a good work from God will deliver a profound impact for the gospel. They take part in declaring the presence and the authority of the true God.
There are many good works contained in the word of God. Yet, they deliver fruitful results for the purpose of the gospel only when received in the Spirit. In other words, they deliver substantial results when God directs us to perform them. Many perform works, because they are in the word. This does not necessarily mean they please God. For when God calls a person through the gospel He calls him or her with a view to participate in the gospel according to the measure He supplies. No one is entitled to a work of his or her choice to please Him, except when each one is inspired by the Spirit to perform it. This brings glory to God, because He began it in them and perfects it in them. Such work has profound impact for the gospel. For God blesses the one doing the work and the work itself to produce the desired outcome. If this is not the case, what meaning does a faith with total submission hold? But, faith that comes by hearing the word is directly responsible for a believer to receive from the word. This is intimate relationship with God. Now, there is nothing present that can prosper against the work God began in us. Therefore, the Spirit of God encourages us saying, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
There are not many faiths, but one. This is evident to us from the word. Yet, there occurs a constant problem among Christians in implementing the faith that pleases God and which was once for all given to the believers. This faith existed in Abraham and is required to exist in Christians, his sons, until the day of Christ. It beckons God to begin a good work in them. For what was the good work that faith beckoned God to begin in Abraham? It was the promise of the seed. By faith Abraham submitted to God and received the promise in the form of a good work, which he realized through Isaac. This continues to have a profound impact for the gospel, since the seed meant Christ, who is our common salvation. Therefore, it is faith delivered by God that beckons Him to begin good works in the believers. Abraham did not choose his work, but God began it in him. This is the profound impact his faith in God had – God began a good work in him. And so it will be in our case, if we possess the faith that begets in us God’s good works.
Do not be confused. There are works we do in reverence to God and there are works we do, because God initiated them in us. He who does both is a lamp set on a pedestal. For example, praising God is a duty based work. It is done joyfully in response to the impact God had on us through His Son. It denotes that we are His sons. But, the works we do for the ascendancy of the gospel are inspired by God. And, the case of the Philippians is one among many examples. When we strive earnestly for the faith that remains unchanged, we see what God precisely wants from us. We will not walk according to the instincts of the flesh. So, Paul had this to say to the believing – “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:9).
Many are caught in various doctrines, some of works and others of faith, since they did not comprehend the nature of faith that indicates total submission to God. Had they known belief in God inescapably leads to total submission, they would indeed have in them the Spirit that avails them good works. We see parents having many visions for their children. God is certainly no different. Often we are enthused to hear parents speak of their vision for their children. Children that submit to such parents will be tremendously blessed. So is the case with God’s children. He wants to use them for the purpose of the gospel. He has a vision for them. It stimulates them. It is beyond words. It is unveiled to them upon their submission to Him. And if you are ready, He is willing to unveil it to you. For Christ Jesus, the Lord, has already done what is necessary at your readiness. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
He has included you, because your faith in God revealed total submission. God will reap substantial results from you. You have permitted Him to do whatever He pleases with you. Whatever work He begins in you, because you have the Spirit of Christ, He perfects it in you. You will be kept from the spiritual forces of darkness. You prosper in the work of God. It will in turn give a blessing to you; you become a blessing to God’s kingdom. The time is always near to allow God to begin a good work in you, because the end is also near. For many having not understood this have desisted what God wants from them. They are unwilling to participate in the gospel by doing their part through a work of God in them. But, they are willing to work for it by their instincts. In doing so, they do not regard the gospel that God availed in His Son. It was because of men like them a prophet said, “‘Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,’ says the LORD” (Hag. 1:8).
Everything men have in their possession, whatever they may be, they are useless and unproductive for His gospel, if their temple is not yet built for His purpose. If they have not yet allowed God to begin a good work in them, it means they are without the Spirit of Christ. It will be well for them to understand what God clearly expects of them. They ought to search for and possess the things by which they can please God. Unless they build themselves with them, He will not begin a good work in them. They must approach His word and tune their heart for belief. They must totally submit to Him. Or else, they will never see the light of the unfathomable blessing that comes from Christ. “She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?’” (John 4:11).
The blessing or the living water which Christ gives is the Holy Spirit. It is He who sanctifies us and stands us perfect before God. He is a gift to all who totally submit to God. He is not found on this earth or among the traditions of men or in philosophy, but is in Christ and God. He is the promise of God. Through Him all the heavenly things flow into us by which we are able to please God. He inspires us to understand the work that God wants to begin in us. Without Him God does not begin good works in men. He will guide us to God’s works that are in the word. Because the word is the truth, we will not be confused. We grasp the nature of God. The imprint of faith lives in us. God performs good works in us for substantial results; the gospel prospers through us, the sons of Abraham. And it is written, “nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: ‘THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED’” (Rom. 9:7).