Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bible Truth #15 - Philippians 2:13

Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The Truth stands clear. It is God who works in you - every action, every thought, is HIS good pleasure. You were created for a purpose, HIS good pleasure (Revelation 4:11). You were saved for a purpose, HIS good pleasure. When you sin you are dragged away* by your own lust (James 1:14), it’s the sinful nature that we all have. But it is still God’s plan. He directs every step we take. (Proverbs 16:9) So is God making you sin? Of course not. It is our decision, but His plan. Did Joseph’s brothers sin when they sold him into slavery? Of course, but it was God’s intention that the brothers do it. Did God make them sin? Of course not. The brothers intended the action for evil, God intended the SAME action for good (Genesis 50:20). It is the same with us - when we sin, we intend the action for evil, God intends it for good.

The Jews and Romans crucified the innocent perfect Lamb of God. Did they sin? Of course they did but it was God’s plan, His intention that they do it (Acts 2:23, 4:28). Did God sin, of course not. Did God make them do it? Yes. Did God make them sin? No. God intended it for good and I’m thankful He did! God made them do it just as He makes the Elect believe (John 6:29).

Apply that principle to our lives today. Everyday I sin. One of my sins is impatience. But every time I display my impatience it is a decision I make, I choose to display my temper. Is it God’s plan? Yes, but it is still my decision and God will hold me accountable at the Judgment Seat of Christ for my sins (2 Corinthians 5:10). But He has a purpose for my display of which I may never know. As verse 13 above makes clear, He works in me to WILL (think, reason, believe) and to DO (act, behave, live) according to His good pleasure, not mine. When I asked a seminary graduate about it he said, “Yes, when we’re obedient, He will work in us.” Sorry, I don’t see the “obedience clause” in verse 13 at all. Were Pilate, Herod, and the Jewish religious leaders being obedient when God worked in them to crucify Jesus? Was Peter being obedient when he denied Christ 3 times? Was Saul being obedient when he was persecuting the church before God saved him? The answer to all of those is NO, but God directed each of the aforementioned actions in conformity with the purpose of His Will (Ephesians 1:11) - and His Will is to bring Him Glory.

God works in every person He has chosen, even those He has not yet saved. So when the time comes, the time God has already determined, for Him to convert a dead sinner, He puts someone like you or me across his path and we witness to him (God working in us to act) and then He works in the man to whom we are witnessing (John 6:29) and He converts him, quickens his dead spirit through faith (Ephesians 2:8) - the faith God gives him at that moment, AND grants him belief (Philippians 1:29) and repentance (2 Timothy 2:25), and then “works in him to WILL (believe) and DO (act) according to His good pleasure (not ours).” HALLELUJAH!!!!

* The Greek word for dragged away, exelko, uses the same root word as draw in John 6:44 and drag in James 2:6 - the word elko

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