“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Php 1:6)
If you could write a story of your life, chances are each chapter would begin with an important event that was taking place in your life. I like to call these events as ‘fixed points.‘ We all have these fixed points that we can draw on.
Here is one of my fixed points -
He Who Began the Good Work
It was 1964 and I had just resigned from a religious association that had been an anchor in my walk with the Lord. But I knew that the time had come up pull up anchor and set sail. The witness of the Lord was without question.
The next morning a dark gloom settled over my mind. ‘What will I do now? Where will I find fellowship.’
I fell to my knees and reached for my Bible. As the Bible fell open, this Scripture just leaped out –
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Php 1:6)
God had spoken. The gloom instantly lifted. And that moment in time became a fixed point in my walk with the Lord. I knew deep in my heart that my journey of life was well in the hands of the Lord.
God has fixed points, too.
Jesus told the disciples about redemption’s fixed points, and that these points were not for them to know. The disciples asked the Lord when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. He said,
“It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Act 1:7-8)
The Greek word for ‘epochs’ (kairos, pronounced, kahee-ros’) refers to an occasion, a set time. It carries the idea of a new opportunity.
Even Our Days Are Ordained
That being said, the Lord also has fixed points in our personal walk. David alluded to this:
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. … Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psa 139:14-16)
Did you catch it? David said that our days were ordained of the Lord. The Hebrew for ‘ordained’ [yasar] means to fashion, to shape, or to devise, as with work of creation. This word includes the idea of election and predestination.
The Apostle Paul speaks to this:
“ … also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.” (Eph 1:11)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10)
The Greek term for ‘workmanship’ (poiema) has to do with a finished product. In this case, believers are the finished work of the cross.
But this needs to be understood in the sense of the believer’s redemption in Christ.
Let’s take this a step further, into …
What is Finished – What is Ongoing
It is important to understand the finished work of the cross in its Biblical sense. Where ‘poiema’ denotes the finished work, it also relates to the word, ‘poiesis’, which speaks of an ongoing work, and to the word, ‘poietes’, which addresses the one who is doing or has done the work.
All three of these words include the thought of a poet. While the poet is working on his project, he always has the finished work firmly fixed in his mind. This sense carries over into the finished work of the cross.
The finished work is already complete in the chronicles of God, but we as believers are experiencing our shaping throughout our life time. Thus we have the paradox of ‘fixed points.’
The paradox involves two issues, the positional truth, and the experiential truth.
The positional truth is that God’s work in the believer is finished. The experiential truth is that the believer is a work in progress, where his life is being shaped for the eternity to come.
Back to ordained events. Now we need to look at…
The Message Behind the Message
The message behind the cross is that Jesus is the author & finisher of our faith; that we are God’s ‘finished’ workmanship; that we are destined for glory.
It is the message is that nothing in all of creation will ever be able to separate the believer from the love of God that is found in Jesus Christ.
Out of the cross comes the Shepherd’s promise that, “I will never leave you and I will never desert you.”
Then we have this on the experiential side of the cross. Listen carefully:
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
“[with the knowledge that] it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Php 2:12-13)
Once again, did you catch it. It is God who is working out our salvation. The ‘fear and trembling’ comes from realizing this awesome revelation that God is fully at work in my life.
Actually Job describes this very aspect of fear and trembling. Listen to Job:
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
Do you see any doubt in Job, about his eternal salvation? Not one bit. When Job ends of saying, ‘My heart faints within me’, he is speaking of the awesomeness of His Redeemer God.
Now with regard to the Lord working out our salvation, let’s hear it again:
“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will,
“… working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:20-21)
These Scriptures allow us to realize that it is God who is at work in our lives, and that He is working in us that which is pleasing in His sight. It also helps to define what I mean by ‘fixed points’ in our lives. These fixed points accord with a Scripture that most believers can quote from memory -
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
These ‘all things” include ordained moments in our lives where a change is in the works. These fixed moments can be seen as transitional moments.
Now let’s talk about…
What is it That is Pleasing to God
What is pleasing to God is the revealing of ‘likeness’ and ‘image’ of Christ in all His children. We call this, ‘Christlikeness.’
The apostle John said that one day we are going to be just like Jesus. Our future glory and likeness to Jesus Christ is what the finished work of the cross is all about.
However, this exact likeness fulfills itself in our final stay in heaven. In the meantime we need lots of help in processing life. We don’t lose our human nature just because we’ve been born again. There will be trails, setbacks, failures, and victories without measure.
This is all part of our experiencing Jesus in this life.
“For it was fitting for Him [Jesus], for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
“For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb 2:10-11)
We are in the process of being brought to glory. The full glory takes place in our life to come.
And so, in Christ the work is finished. In our experience it is ongoing. We are being conformed to His image & likeness.
Now back to…
The Lord’s “I Am with You” Moments
There will be many defining moments in every believer’s life. Some will seem painful at the time, but all of them have to do with shaping the believer for eternity. The issue is that every trial has a purpose and every revelation has something to say to us.
This is also why it is important to take to heart what the apostle said:
“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Php 1:6)
This is also why we must be able to say with Jesus, “Father, not my will, but yours be done.”
There is so much more to be said about ‘fixed points in time’, that I will leave off for now.
Now to hear from my readers – I would love to hear about one of your fixed points in time where a major change was in the works, and where the Lord gave you the assurance that He was with you.
Take time to respond to this journal entry.
In the meantime, here is a song for your meditation … ‘I Stand Amazed’
In Christ always,