“I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
God always finishes what He starts. All who love Christ desire to be like Him in spiritual perfection and absolute holiness. We want to please Him in every respect. However, that noble pursuit is often met with frustration and discouragement as human frailties and sin block our pathway.
Paul’s cry in Romans 7 is ours as well: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…. I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand…. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (vv. 15,21,24). His answer resonates with confidence and relief: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v. 25).
Paul was convinced that God always completes the good work of salvation He begins in every new believer—a work that progressively conforms us to the image of His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18). That might seem like a painfully slow process at times, but be assured He will complete it. All whom He justifies will be glorified (Romans 8:29–30).
In the meantime, you have an active role to play in the process. Paul called it “work[ing] out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). You must discipline yourself for holiness through prayer, Bible study, obedience, and accountability to other believers. All the resources you need are at your disposal as God Himself works in you to produce “His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Believer, rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit’s prompting, and take heart that God will accomplish His will.
—John MacArthur, Drawing Near