Tuesday – He’s Still Working on Me
By George Volpe
“Because it is written, Be Ye Holy, For I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
A gift is a special thing. It’s something you give away, not expecting the recipient to return it. It’s given with no strings attached. You don’t pay for it, or it is no longer a gift. When someone gives me a gift, I feel special. I know that person cares about me. We have all kinds of holidays and special days we use for excuses to give people gifts. Sometimes we don’t even need a special day.
In Romans 5 and 6, the word “gift” is repeated seven times. The message is clear: Salvation is a gift from God. There are multitudes of souls today who do not realize that God is extending a gift for them with outstretched arms in spite of their sin. They either don’t know it or don’t believe it.
The moment we accept the gift of Jesus Christ as our only salvation for eternity, the only payment possible for the debt of our sins, God begins a work in us the Bible calls sanctification. It is the process of being transformed by the Spirit of God into a soul that conforms to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29, 12:2)
God does not just rescue us from sin and then leave us in spiritual diapers to wander aimlessly in a world that largely rejects Him. As a loving, Heavenly Father, our God is actively engaged in our individual lives, teaching, admonishing, instructing, guiding, encouraging in ways tailored to who we are, specific to our situation.
We don’t earn salvation, and we don’t earn sanctification. Without the gift of grace from God, there is no salvation, and no sanctification. But God’s overarching desire to bless us and bring us to Himself makes new life and our sanctification possible. And He is patiently “setting us apart” or making us holy for Himself, just as “He is holy”. Living with Him eternally absolutely requires our sanctification, and God knows exactly what we need in our own personal sanctification journey.
Salvation is just the beginning. It opens the door to sanctification. God’s progressive work of sanctification in our hearts is essential. There is no avoiding it, no escaping it. God is not a derelict father. He is able to finish the work He started in us in spite of our humanity. Prior to salvation, we were separated from God, but when we were saved our standing before God was forever changed. Now we are separated to God, and from the world. Little by little, every day, “those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14, ESV) are becoming more like Christ.
Read Philippians 1:1-21.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 2