Complete Perfection

Paul writes to the Philippian church, reminding them that God had begun a good work in them: “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.” (Phil. 1:6)

The beginning of that good work was the moment when God’s call resulted in repentance and faith, and Paul assures them that God’s work of redemption will continue in their lives, eventually reaching a point of completion on the day that Jesus returns.

No Half-Done Projects
The same is true for us. God has started a work in us that he is going to finish. He’s not like us with so many of our half-finished home renovation projects. We start with excitement but then run out of energy, interest and supplies and leave the work undone. God sets us on the path of reconciliation and redemption and promises that we will be fully reconciled and fully redeemed.

We need not worry; we don’t have to wonder: “Will God get the job done? Will he finish what he started? Or will he leave me hanging?” If you have experienced the new birth you are on a journey from spiritual death (your starting point) to complete perfection in the full and permanent presence of God ( your eternal destiny). That journey is called sanctification.

There are only two possible points where the progress of your sanctification comes to a stop. Either at your death or at the return of Christ. At every other moment, God is working in you to bring his work to completion. That means it’s happening RIGHT now!

God at Work
It doesn’t always feel like it though, does it? If God is at all times at work in my life, why do I sometimes feel so sad and alone and anxious? Well, keep in mind that he is at WORK. To create a statue many chunks of marble must be chipped off. To make a sturdy table, a lot of cutting and sanding takes place. Constructing a beautiful building involves numerous noisy and dirty processes. But when that work is done we look at the finished product and marvel at its perfection.

That day of marvellous perfection is coming for all who belong to him. And when that day comes we’ll get to see the blueprints and we’ll understand what those unpleasant phases of construction were all about.

But until that time, we trust this promise, that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.”

Paul is confident that their faith will stand and that they will persevere until the end because of the work of God’s sovereign saving grace among them. He is confident that their future prospects are good.

And he doesn’t derive this confidence from their solid qualities as human beings, but from his trust in God’s ability to bring about that which he has promised to accomplish.

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Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Points of Interest (2020-06-03)

My Expert Opinion / The Law of Unintended Consequences: Shakespeare, Cobra Breeding, and a Tower in Pisa / What Are God’s Purposes in a Recession? / Preaching under the smile and the smiting rod / Coming undone: What COVID-19 pandemic policies have done to our psyche

Alan Jacobs – My Expert Opinion (Snakes and Ladders)

“Americans have never more desperately needed reliable knowledge than we do now; also, Americans have never been less inclined to trust experts, who are by definition the people supposed to possess the reliable knowledge.”

“My suggestion to journalists, then, is simple: Never use the word ‘expert.’ If you are tempted to say ‘We talked to an expert,’ say instead that you talked to an immunologist, or an epidemiologist — and then take a moment to explain what an immunologist or epidemiologist actually is.”

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Shakespeare, Cobra Breeding, and a Tower in Pisa (Farnam Street Blog)

“Many people who experience a rodent infestation will stop feeding their cats, assuming that this will encourage them to hunt more. The opposite occurs: well-fed cats are better hunters than hungry ones. When the British government offered financial rewards for people who killed and turned in cobras in India, people, reacting to incentives, began breeding the snakes. Once the reward program was scrapped, the population of cobras in India rose as people released the ones they had raised. The same thing occurred in Vietnam with rats…”

John Piper – What Are God’s Purposes in a Recession? (Desiring God)

“God is sovereign, which is why you can speak in terms of purposes. God is sovereign over these things. He foresees them all. He causes or permits them all. And when he foresees and he causes or permits, it is always by design. So, whatever comes to pass comes to pass by God’s design, however it comes to pass.”

Andrew Roycroft – Preaching under the smile and the smiting rod (Thinking Pastorally)

“Have we forfeited the opportunity of silence in our pulpits by becoming new heroes of the story in an online realm? Ought we not to have cried out to God to show us what he would have us do in our souls, before we called in technology to show us how to run our services? Have we rushed to solutions when our first note ought to have been sorrow?… Shall we leave lockdown more technically competent, and no more spiritually sensitive?”

Sharon Kirkey – Coming undone: What COVID-19 pandemic policies have done to our psyche (National Post)

“According to the survey, one-quarter of Canadians are experiencing moderate to severe levels of anxiety. A similar proportion felt lonely occasionally, or most of the time, in the past week; 20 per cent reported feeling depressed. Women, parents with children at home and younger adults, the 18- to 39-year-olds, are faring worse than others. Nearly one-quarter of the 1,005 people surveyed between May 8 and 12 reported binge-drinking in the past week. Significant numbers reported feeling nervous and edgy, or having trouble relaxing. We’re feeling easily annoyed and irritable, the survey tells us. We’ve spent an unhealthy number of days over the past two weeks worrying ‘something awful might happen.’”

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