By Not Known
The Scripture teaches that God saves. We don’t save ourselves. Nor is there a
partnership between equals. As Eph 1:3-14 outlines, God has done all needed for
our salvation in his works to predestine, justify, sanctify and glorify (Eph 1:3). And
that is why all praise belongs to him for salvation and why it is all to his glory and
none to us (Eph 1:3,12,14).
However, this good news that God saves does not mean that we are inactive.
Every part of God’s work to save us demands an active response for us.
His work to predestine and justify us is accompanied by his calling to an
active hearing of the gospel and an active faith in Jesus (Eph 1:13;2:8).
His work to sanctify us by the Spirit demands that we are filled with the
Spirit (rather than grieving him) and take hold of the help that God supplies
in our battle for holy living (Eph 4:30; 5:18; 6:10-18).
God’s work to glorify us demands that we persevere in faith, godliness and
hope… doing the good works for which he saved us (Eph 2:10).
This can be put in another way. We respond to God’s work for us (justification) by
putting our faith in Jesus. We respond to his work in us (sanctification) by
committing ourselves to the pursuit of godliness and using the helps that God
provides. We respond to his work through us (service) by developing and using the
gifts of his Spirit.
This response and cooperation of ours is an active lifelong process. We must
certainly surrender all to God and ask him to fill us, cleanse us and such like. But
we must also admit our need of the struggles of the Christian life, be realistic about
our weaknesses and failures and give ourselves to the repeated and daily taking up
of God’s help (Eph 6: 10-18).
God’s help is given through his Spirit and the chief means of the Spirit’s help is
through the word of God and our prayers (Eph 6:17-18). Put simply, if we want to
grow and persevere as Christians we need first to read the Bible and pray.
Are you working with God?