Called by Christ


PrayerLord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!  You have set Your glory in the heavens.  Through the praise of children and infants You have established a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.  When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them (Psalm 8:1-4)?

Thank You, God, for including us in Your plan for salvation and the ultimate purpose of serving You.  Give us the wisdom, understanding, strength, and courage to be a defender of the faith as we grow in the knowledge of Your truth and disciple others to do the same.  – Amen.

Main Scripture: Reread Philippians 1:6.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in You will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).

Associated Scriptures:

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9, NASB).

It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more (1 Thessalonians 4:3-10).

And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16, NASB).

For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong (1 Peter 3:17, NASB).

Correlative Quotes:

It is the church that the Lord is completing. But it is within the process of the church being perfected that the individual Christian is being completed.[1]

While the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is therefore a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow in grace" and to "be changed" by the unhindered power of the Spirit[2] – J. Vernon McGee

Theologians have pointed to three phases of the one process of sanctification: the initial act of setting apart at salvation (positional); the ongoing process of becoming more and more set apart and Christlike (progressive); and the final setting apart from sin when believers are made perfect at the coming of Christ (perfected). First Thessalonians 3 and 4 include these three aspects:

(1) Positional Sanctification: I was sanctified—For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness (4:7).

(2) Progressive Sanctification: I am being sanctified—For this is the will of God, Your sanctification (4:3).

(3) Perfected Sanctification: I will be sanctified— So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all the saints (3:13).[3] – David Jeremiah


God is not finished with us at the point of salvation.  We are justified by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ through belief in Him.  Our justification is secured for eternity.  However, our calling extends far beyond our own redemption and justification.

There is an expectation that we will not only become His disciple but that we will continue the good work that He initiated while He was here on earth, using us as His servants.  This is accomplished in the action of progressive sanctification.  Through progressive sanctification, God is not only working in us to create a disciple who is worthy of His calling. He also desires to work through us to make more disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).

Three facets of life as a Christian sum up the total reason for our existence and contribute to the growth and understand of joy.  They are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:18), leading others to do the same (1Corinthians 11:1, Acts 1:8), and doing good works in His name (Ephesians 2:10).

Paul, directed by the Holy Spirit, makes this statement in Thessalonians 1:11 to the Christians at Thessalonica: “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his callingand that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”

Both the “desire for goodness”, our progressive sanctification, and our good deeds, prompted by faith, are works of God within us.  They are due to our new relationship with him. They are also the key factors in maintaining a close fellowship with God.  He supplies the power for growth in our lives, and God is the one who works in us to do good deeds (Philippians 2:13).

Therefore, salvation is just the beginning of our relationship with God and not an end in itself.  When we understand that we are not good people as in Mark 10:18: “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God alone.”  When we are reminded that we are not holy. Romans 3:10: “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’”  When we grasp the truth that we are not worthy of holiness Romans 3:10-12: “There is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”.  We must accept the fact that Jesus has done it all for us.  He has completed all the requirements for our redemption on the cross.  He died that we might have a path to forgiveness from sin, to growth in Him, and through His power and position to serve others. 

We did nothing in our own power during the process.  God supplied us with the savior to pay the price for sin, the truth in His Word, the conviction that we are unworthy, the call to repent, and the faith to accept it.  He has done it all for us.  The completed work of the Gospel signed, sealed, and delivered by God for us.

Now that God has given us eternal life as a free gift, we have a responsibility to do His will for our lives.  His will is for us to grow in His grace and knowledge (1 Peter 3:18), to lead others to Christ and disciple them, and to do good works that honor and glorify Him.  He deserves our lives, because, He paid for them. 

God urges us, through His Spirit, to be active disciples.  However, He does not force us or do it for us.  When we are in fellowship with God, He “leads me” (Psalm 23:2-3).  As we grow, we have a deeper and deeper appreciation for our own incompetence and inadequacy as compared to His all-competent sufficiency. (2 Corinthians 3:5)

The steps to allowing God to work in our lives all involve His power and presence.

  1. Learn from Him: Study God’s word
  2. Listen to Him:

Be aware that God is going to use circumstances in your life to direct you and probably not use supernatural visions for direction.  The fact that we want to learn, and we see a need that should be filled, is an indicator that God is speaking to us. 

  1. Let Him:

The old chorus says, “Let go and let God have His wonderful way, let go and let God have His way.”[4]  When we sense an opportunity for us to grow, we need to step forward so that God can direct us.  He will lead a willing servant.  God will open doors and He will close them.  We will not be left disappointed.  Let go and let God!

  1. 4. Laud Him:

When we realize that God has initiated our action, He has guided us through the process, and He has used us to complete the action, it is time to give Him all the praise and glory. 

Summary Statement:

We then can be: “confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, KJV).  Everything I have accomplished, all that I am doing, and will do that advances the Kingdom of God, has been done by Him.  Jesus deserves the honor.  He is entitled to the Glory.  My gift, from God, for that work while on this earth is Joy.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! (Psalm 103:1).

Note that the psalmist stirred himself up to bless God’s name, by which is meant His character—every name of God is a reason for thankfulness. We will praise Jehovah, the self-existent; we will praise El, the mighty God whose power is on our side; we will praise Him who gives Himself the covenant name of Elohim and reveals therein the Trinity of His. Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ. Volume 18 2 2 sacred Unity; we will praise the Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, and magnify Him because out of His fullness have we all received; and whatever other name there is in Scripture, or combination of names, every one shall be exceedingly delightful to our hearts, and we will bless the sacred name![5] – Charles Spurgeon

Lessons within the Lesson:

Why did mankind need Jesus to die for us?

Why don’t we have a part to play in the process of salvation? 

What is our responsibility to God now that we are freed from sin?

List the steps in  God’s plan.  How do we use them daily?

[1] Dick Wulf, The Plural Purpose for Philippians 1:6, The Lamb’s Bride Project, Colorado Springs, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law,C).Copyright ©1998 Dick Wulf,

[2] J. Vernon McGee, Doctrinal Statement: Progressive Sanctification, Through The Bible, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, Ibid.

[3] David Jeremiah, David Jeremiah Study Bible, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law, Nashville, TN.: Worthy, 2013, p. 1687.

[4], Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law.

[5] Charles Spurgeon, Saints Blessing the Lord, Public Domain,, P. 1.