Started and Completed
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)
The life that God has given us is the life of His Son. All whom He has called He has also justified, and all whom He has justified He counts as already glorified. God never begins anything that He does not bring to completion. The world may start that which it cannot finish, but God says: “He which hath begun a good work in you, will keep on perfecting it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, author’s translation). Here are all three of the great doctrines of God’s work within us. He which hath begun a good work in you – that is justification – will keep on perfecting it – that is sanctification – until the day of Jesus Christ – that is glorification. There is no change in God, and there will be no change in His work in us.
This truth is taught still another way in Paul’s epistles. God says: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). This is, of course, the plain announcement that the Holy Spirit – Who has been the instrument of our new birth, Who has come to dwell within us making our bodies His temples – has also placed us in Christ. The Spirit has sealed us in Christ until the day when He shall give us our eternal bodies. Then we shall be made like Christ in all things in reality, just as we have already been made like Him in promise.
It is the announcement that God has given us a gift that can never be lost. Were it anything less than this, we would have to read, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of your sin, or unto the day when God goes back on His promises, or until the day when the new creation can be uncreated.” It is all so evident that no such thing is at all possible. Jesus said, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand” (John 10:29).