"Forgetting What Is Behind"
Good Morning Friends
This morning we will begin a study called "Forgetting What Is Behind". This study is inspired from the book of Philippians. I have recently taught this at my local church, I hope you enjoy it. There are 9 lessons in this study. This morning we will begin with lesson 1 called "He who began a good work in you will complete it". So let's begin....
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. Philippians 1:6
The life of a Christian is a series of miracles.” Quoted by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great British preacher of the 19th century.
How many of us can look at our life today and think “look how far I have come”? Most of us have a difficult time seeing these changes. We can easily fall into the trap of “wanting immediate gratification” but change does not usually happen in an instant, but rather comes over time.
I do believe God performs miracles and answers prayer every-day in His way and in His timing. I know this to be true because of my own spiritual life experiences. I remember the first miracle I received from God---and that was when I bowed my knee to Him and asked Him to forgive me and change my life (March 10-1972). Believe me, that was a miracle!
That was 41 years ago. My life was not changed in the twinkling of an eye, but a miracle just the same. Much of that change was not always visible to others but I was a new person. And it is not over yet! What God began on that day is still continuing to play out in my life today, it may not always be visible to me or others, but it is happening non-the-less.
We know this work of God in a person’s life to be known as “Sanctification”. It is the work God does inside the heart of a believer in order to make him into a new person.
What is Sanctification? 1. It is the work of God. 2. It is a lifetime process. 3. It is never complete in this life.
4. God won’t stop until the job is done. 5. God uses everything that happens to us—good and bad—to conform us into the likeness of Jesus.
Now, lets break down the Scripture verse in Philippians 1:6 into 4 parts: 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. Philippians 1:6
1. Being Confident Let’s define “being confident”. It means to be fully and firmly persuaded or convinced; Acts 17:4..And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women. Acts 28:24...Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. It means here that Paul was entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. It is the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject.1:6
Paul affirms here that that work was begun by God. It was not by their own efforts or will. It was on the fact that it was begun by God, that he based his firm conviction that it would be permanent. Had it been through man alone, he would have had no such conviction. If the perseverance of the Christian depended wholly on himself, there could be no sure evidence that he would ever reach heaven.
2. He starts the work in us
He has begun a good work in you - The "good work" referred to here, can be no other than religion, or true piety. This is called the work of God; the work of the Lord; or the work of Christ; compare…
* John 6:29-30….Then they ask him, “what must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “the work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
* I Corinthians 15:58…Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
It is God who takes the first step in starting his work in you and me. He is the one who “begins a good work” it is not us. Salvation always begins with God. He makes the first move, if he didn’t we would never make a move at all.
A preacher once said, “I did my part and God did his”. Actually, the only part I ever played was to run from him as fast as I could go. If God did not pursue me I would still be running.
We will stop here for today and next week pick up at part 3. I hope this blesses you, if so please pass it on. Have a wonderful day and may God bless you and yours.