As a parent, one of the things that I have tried to instill in my 3 children is the ability to finish a job. I say that word “have tried” because I frequently find that this is still a skill that my kids struggle with. Often a job of emptying all of the upstairs trash cans will result in trash cans not being put back where they belong. Or the quick task of bringing up something from the basement will still sometimes result in lights being left on or doors still being left open.
So while I continue to work with my children on this skill, we are reminded today that God is doing a similar work in our lives. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Paul says we can be very confident of this truth, i.e. we can be sure this will take place. The truth he is teaching is that God will complete the “good work” that He desires to do in our lives.
This work started when we came to know Christ as our Savior and will end on the “day of Jesus Christ”. Unlike the numerous references to the “day of the Lord” in the OT which speaks of a future day of judgement for unbelievers, it is generally accepted that the “day of Jesus Christ” refers to the rapture, which apparently Paul believed would take place in his lifetime. So what is this good work that Paul is referring to that will stretch from the time of our conversion until the time of the rapture or our death? It is the work of God sanctifying us and confirming us to be more and more Christ-like. God doesn’t save us and then expect us to just flounder around in this world until the day we go to Heaven. But instead He desires to work in us and allow others to see Christ working through us. And if we resist this work? Then God may have to do what is necessary to get our attention. No doubt many stubborn Christians have experienced his discipline or even an early death because they didn’t want to yield to His work in their lives. Far better for us to fall in line with what God wants to do in and through us-with a willing heart.