No Such Thing as Sanctification Retirement
Verse 6 …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.
Knowing that He will complete His work in us is good but unless we pay attention the last part of this verse we can easily forget that it isn’t a “one time for all” working.
Paul is intentional about pointing out that He will carry out His work in us until the day Christ comes. This is to remind his friends, and us, that this working that He is doing in our lives is something that will continue until our life is done. As long as we are living He will be working sanctification in us. This means that there will be multiple times in our life where we will be in a time of spiritual construction.
These times of construction will often come as stress, loss or crisis. The Spirit can do great work in our lives when we are at the end of ourselves. It is usually the tough times in life that we seek Him the most. When our spouse walks out and we are left shocked and alone. When the child we have prayed many years for comes and has health problems. When the person we thought was our closest friend shows that they were really never our friend. The job that we have enjoyed for years closes down leaving us unemployed. These and more can come into our lives and cause us to hit the bottom of our spiritual strength.
It’s these times of being in the bottom of a pit that bring us to the end of ourselves and set us on the path of sanctification. Of course we have a part to play in this work. While it isn’t up to us to sanctify, it is our responsibility to surrender to Him and allow Him to mold us through these experiences. For the deserted spouse and loss of friend we have to learn to forgive as He forgave us. When our child is struggling with health or we have lost our income, we are given the opportunity to learn to trust Him with every detail of our lives.
His work is continuing in us because He loves us and wants to purify us. He also wants to use us for the building and sanctifying of the kingdom. Each of those things we learn will help us grow and will give us more opportunities to witness about His faithfulness in our lives. They also give us hurts that heal so that we can help other believers as they are going through their tough times. This is a joy of being in His Church!
Making It Personal
What are the times and experiences in your life that you can point to as times He was growing you? In what ways did you grow? How can you help someone that is going through something similar now?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you like going through hard times? What could Jesus be trying to teach you in the hard times? Does having hard times make you want to help others who are having hard times?
Father, thank You for caring about us so much that You continue working in our lives to make us more like You. Help us learn all that You are wanting to teach us. In Jesus’ name, amen.