THE TRANSFORMING WORK OF GOD

Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 5:23-28

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” (I Thessalonians 5:23,24)

It is the God of peace who sanctifies us completely. God is the God of peace. His peace transcends our understanding — “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). We can experience God’s peace when we trust Him fully — “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts You. Trust the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal” (Psalm 26:3,4).

God is at work in us. He is sanctifying us through His Spirit and His Word. This is why we must not quench the Spirit and why we must not neglect time in the Word of God. Sanctification is an inward work of God. He is molding us more and more into the image of His Son. His sanctifying work is transformational; it changes us from the inside out. Sanctification is not simply a form of behavior modification; it is a change of heart. When we are being sanctified, we will love Jesus more than we love ourselves. We will want to do the will of the Father.

The Holy Spirit uses many means in His sanctifying work — trials, other believers, Christian community, worship, prayer, Bible reading and meditation, etc. We are responsible to take advantage of these means of grace, which is why Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for HIs good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12,13). We have a responsibility in our sanctification; but we must realize that it is God who is doing the real work inside of us.

As we come to the end of this epistle, we find these encouraging words — “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it” (v. 24). God is faithful. He always does what He promises. When you get down and discouraged remember these words from Lamentations — “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:19-23).

God of Peace, I know You are at work in me. Thank You for making Your perfect peace available to me. You are making me more and more into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. O Spirit, melt me, mold me, fill me and use me. Jesus, through Your merit alone, I have been made blameless because Your righteousness has been imputed to me through faith. You are faithful and You will surely do all that You have promised.

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