"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” -- Philippians 2:12-13
In one sense of the word, "salvation" is a past act. We who believe have been saved by election, redemption, and regeneration. But, in another sense, salvation is a present, ongoing process. I am confident "that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). If the Lord God has begun his marvelous work of grace in you, he will complete it. Of that fact there can be no question. God almighty never started anything he did not complete.
God is saving us now by his preserving grace. We are kept by the power of God through faith (1 Pet. 1:5). If God had saved us, and then left it to us to keep ourselves saved, not one of us would last a moment. But we are being saved by divine power. God gave us new hearts, and keeps our hearts new. God gave us faith, and makes our faith grow. God gave us love for Christ, and keeps our hearts in love with Christ. God gave us repentance, and keeps us repenting.
The Lord our God is saving us now by his providential care (Rom. 8:28-31). Our heavenly Father knows exactly what we need. And he sees to it that we have it. Our hearts rejoice to know that our great God rules all the affairs of providence for his people. He delivers us from all our temptations, retrieves us from all our falls, walks with us in all our afflictions, keeps us from all our enemies, and graciously sustains us in all our ways.
And our great God is saving us by molding us into the likeness of his dear Son (Rom. 8:29). For his own glory God has left us in this world, so that we might be conformed experimentally to the image of his dear Son. He gave us the nature and character of Christ in regeneration (Gal. 5:22-23). And he causes that new nature to grow in grace by the loving discipline of grace. He wisely weans our hearts from the world, teaches us patience, and makes his glory the goal of our hearts. With the chastening rod, he drives foolishness from the hearts of his children. And in the end he will present us to himself, perfectly conformed to the image of Christ. God will not cease his great work of grace in his own until he has brought us in heaven’s glory perfectly conformed to the image of his dear Son.
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #899
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 859-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org