Rev. E. Anderson
THE WORK THAT GOD WILL PERFORM
Reading Philippians 1
IGNORANCE: It is a regrettable fact that man lives in spiritual ignorance to the great, good work that God desires to perform on his behalf. Man was created and destined to be and live for something good and great. Unfortunately he has fallen foul of sin and Satan and because of this has been blinded to what God would achieve and bring to pass of a tremendous order within his life and affairs. Life with all of its true meaning and motivation has been lost and so an awful condition of ignorance prevails. Whilst he is clever to some extent on natural fronts yet he is abysmally ignorant on the main one. He is in a maze and requires help of an extraordinary kind.
Illustration: Hampton Court maze is a well-known labyrinth of hedge-bound paths in which it is easy to get lost. So many avenues lead to nowhere, so many openings prove abortive – the would be pursuer of conquest can feel utterly frustrated. Such is life !
We chase down cul-de-sacs. We take the wrong turnings, we become baffled by the very complexity and vicissitudes of our experiences. Life is indeed a puzzle, often painful, sometimes even pitiful.
But Hampton’s maze has a guide on an elevated spot that is able to direct anyone in perplexing difficulties. There is someone with an over-perfect perspective of the situation who can direct to the way forward and out.
SENSITIVE: The first thing is to become aware of and tuned in to what God is seeking to truly and fully effect. This ignorant state must be dealt with so that it is dissipated and a genuine divine knowledge be imparted and realized. There ought to be a calling on and a crying out to God to ask Him to give light and sense. There is a demand to be switched on to Him and for Him to make us sensitive and alive to what we really need to know and understand. Countless numbers have cried out in the annals of human history and dared to ask Him to show and prove Himself in this and He has not failed.
Illustration: As a young lad one of the great concerns of my being: why am I here ? I was a young philosopher in quest and God knew it, in fact He planted it in me and desired to answer it.
MEANS: God has ordained means and measures by which every person can be enlightened as to this vast, virtuous work that can be accomplished so that life and work is lifted and brought into a higher condition of being, existence and exercise. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, the perfect revelation of God. Jesus Christ is the perfect and absolute answer to the personal searching questions of life and He has all the time, patience and commitment to mankind to solve everything for all.
What is that work that must be performed in relation to, in and through us ?
1/. TO BRING A REAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE GODHEAD INTO LIFE
What every man needs is a clear revelation of God in and upon his life and affairs. It is imperative to know who God is and to be aware of the fact that He has specifically revealed Himself in and through the Holy Scriptures and in and through Jesus Christ.
The Bible is no ordinary book: it is extraordinary. In composition, content and production is stands out as the ‘unique book’ in human history. It is a library of books in one and its main message is to give and unfolding of God and His purposes to all mankind. It is full of His precepts and promises that embrace the blessedness for all, without exception. It is possible to come to know God as author.
Jesus Christ is no ordinary Person: He is extraordinary. The Old Testament, to quite an extent, is a prophetic Book and one of its main themes is a declaration that a unique Person is to be born through Israel as a nation, from the tribe of Judah and of Davidic descent and He would be born in Bethlehem. He would be the Messiah not only of Israel and of the whole world. He would through His life and teaching give a clear perspective of God because He was ‘God manifest in human flesh’ – (John 1: 18). When a person comes to know Jesus Christ they will come to know God. All must come to know Him.
2/. TO EXPERIENCE A WORK OF DIVINE SALVATION AND REGENERATION IN THE HEART
There is a two-fold need in the life and condition of all people irrespective of race, colour, sex, age, status etc. It is to be saved from the presence and power of sin and to bring complete spiritual renewal of the inward being so that he can know God and be and live as God truly has designed.
One of the main reasons for the advent of Christ was that He should become man’s Saviour and Redeemer – Matthew 1: 21. The Cross was no accident but was a pre-ordained event in God’s calendar and became the major work of human history. It was God acting on behalf of man in order to provide an absolute and radical answer to the prevailing fact of sin and evil. God has done something about the sin factor and it is portrayed and proclaimed from Christ’s Cross – c.f. Romans 5:8. It is possible for all men and women to be saved by turning to Christ and His Cross.
Further, He comes to renew men by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit – John 3: 3-8 “you must be born again.” When sin has been dealt with then it gives God the right and opportunity to work a work of grace within the heart of renewal by His Spirit. He wills to make new creations – creatures – 2 Corinthians 5: 17. He gives people a brand new start by giving them a brand new life and nature. Only God can do this but He wills to do it for those who desire it. All people should welcome the opportunity of being re-made and renewed by God all over again. To by-pass and ignore this is tragic and has dire consequences.
3/. TO IMPART VITAL FACTORS SO THAT GREATER WORK CAN BE ACHIEVED
He has ordained that, by the Scriptures of truth, that as they are illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, that those who have been spiritually renewed will become conversant and aware of the good and greater things to be accomplished in their persons and affairs. There has to be a constant input of divine communication and knowledge.
The Scriptures contain divine precepts that are planned to found and structure life. There are the commands of God that must be obeyed because they hold the key to a strong and powerful life. They must not be looked upon simply as rules and regulations but as good principles of faith and conduct that make for successful and powerful living – c.f. Joshua 1:7,8; Psalm 1: 2. His commandments are not grievous but a blessing to those who know and obey them. They become a well-spring of life.
The Scriptures also hold sacred promises that are purposed to fill the life with guarantees that will be fulfilled by God – 2 Corinthians 1: 20. God wills that the life be filled with His absolutes so that it can be exercised positively and assuredly. He has covered every contingency and emergency on our side through His Word. He is never in difficulty on this front because He can bring to pass all He has promised.
4/. TO LIVE AND SERVE IN THE GREATEST THINGS AND BE FULFILLED
It is God’s design for life and living that all should be able to give themselves to those things that are worthwhile, productive and successful. Without question and doubt He has plans of the highest order to bring about in those who desire such – Jeremiah 29: 11. There is a work and ministry to be achieved in His Name and kingdom that is of the greatest kind. There is nothing comparable to being involved in that which He has ordained for life – Luke 2: 49. When a person comes to know God in reality and truth there is the desire and will to become fully involved with Him and His enterprises – Acts 9: 6.
God desires that those who know Him be rightly ambitious and have aims of the best sort motivating all they do. To render great service to Himself and to the rest of mankind and for life and work to be indescribably and abundantly blessed. When God called and revealed Himself to a man by the name of Abraham He assured him of what He would effect in and through Him as He did what he said – Genesis 12: 1-4. This man did not miss out on anything but found that he lived at a better and greater level when he lined up with God. His life counted not only more for God and others but even to himself as he ran his course. If we could ask him : “Was your life really fulfilled to the full ?” The answer would come back immediately, “Certainly so!” See also Jesus Christ – John 17: 4.
5/. TO CONCLUDE LIFE WITH A SENSE OF ENORMOUS SATISFACTION
The important thing is to end one’s days on earth completely happy and satisfied. To be able end up knowing that life has not been a waste but that it has been most profitable and pleasurable. Only God can bring this about. At the conclusion of things God does not want anyone to possess a painful conscience but a blessed one because all of life’s expectations have materialized; nothing has fallen short.
Abraham died completely satisfied – Genesis 25: 8 “Then Abrahan gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man full of years.” Newberry margin “satisfied.” This is a praiseworthy and noteworthy epitaph to have inscribed over the life and experience of this famous and illustrious individual. All his expectations had been brought to fruition so he can breathe his last with a great feeling of delight. He not only made history; he had great joy in achieving it and perfect pleasure with last gasp of life.
Paul died in a blessed condition – 2 Timothy 4: 6. His became a very challenging life and work with so many demands upon him. When he was converted to Christ and brought to a true knowledge of God he never knew what lay ahead in terms of excitement, faith and adventure. He was going to make a lasting mark for all time in the Christian Church and world. He would not be forgotten or his work and service. In coming to his great finale he is filled with a sense of absolute fulfilment and delight. He had done the work that had been God-appointed and so could face the future prospect with great hope and anticipation.
Know that God has got His hand upon your life and that He wills to give you the opportunity of knowing Him and His great plan for your mortal existence. This is a providential moment and hour ordained by God where you may encounter Him and discover what you and your life is all about. It is not a chance factor but a golden time when what you have been looking for and need can be yours.
Through Jesus Christ you can be introduced to the Godhead, discovering the blessed deity is a trinity of Persons consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and each have a role to fulfil within experience. All that needs to be done has been done. God has already worked things out whereby you can enjoy a rich experience of salvation through Christ, His Fatherhood in all your affairs and the blessing of the Holy Spirit as a permanent resident.
Do not miss out now, immediately, to let God work in and through you those things that will wholly profit and please you but above bring glory to Him. This kind of opportunity may never present itself to you again so grasp it while you may. God has brought you to this time and place so that His great, good work will commence.