What Works Phil 2:13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
After we get saved, we are to work for the Lord. However, we must learn what works. Today’s ministries have found what works for them. Yet, I’m afraid that they have determined what works pragmatically and not scripturally. In other words, they are achieving their ends and, therefore, they believe that their means must be good. I don’t agree.
Working for the Lord is spiritual work and must be done God’s way. God shows us in the New Testament what works. And if we will follow what he shows us, then whatever we accomplish in the work of God will be pleasing to God. Here’s what works:
God works – Phil 2:12-13 – God is in you when you get saved and he has a plan for your life. He wants to work through you to accomplish his plan according to his will and for his pleasure. The beauty is that you find the greatest joy and satisfaction in your life when God works his will through you. When Jesus Christ was here in his earthly ministry God worked through him [Jn 14:10]. And you see the great works that he did. And he told us that we would do those kinds of works and greater [Jn 14:12] because God is working in us, too.
The word works – 1 Thes 2:13 – when you receive the word of God and believe it, the word works effectually in you. It changes you, it cleanses you, it gives you wisdom, it gives you understanding, it guides and directs you and it brings forth fruit in your life. It fully equips you for everything the Lord wants you to do [2 Tim 3:16-17]. If you try to work for God without the word of God working in you, you are wasting your time. Too many preachers today just use the word of God to further their own work. Instead, we need to be saturated with the words of God so that God can use us for his glory.
The Spirit works – 1 Cor 12:11 – God sets the members in the body as it pleases him and he gives us spiritual gifts so that we may function in the body by doing our part. He knows exactly what he wants us to do, so the Holy Spirit divides to each of us severally as he will those gifts necessary to work. I would be hopelessly inept as a preacher or a teacher if it were not for the Spirit of God working in me. The two great tragedies in the Lord’s work are the men and women who attempt to do the Lord’s work without the Spirit of God and those who are working in the body in an area outside of their spiritual gifts. They are a foot trying to work as a hand. Both of these are all too common in the Lord’s work today.
Grace works – 1 Cor 15:10 – Paul could not have been effective in the Lord’s work if it weren’t for the grace of God. In his weakness, the grace of God was sufficient and strengthened him. Grace is that supernatural supply of God’s power that magnifies his strength in our weakness, allowing us to do things for the Lord that are beyond our human capacity. We were saved by grace and we are to live and work by his grace. If you don’t, you will quit when the work gets harder than you can stand. Jesus and Paul never quit and by God’s grace neither will you.
We work – Titus 3:14 – in order to be fruitful, we need to maintain good works. We need to be doing something for the Lord. In other words, with God, God’s grace, the Bible and the Holy Spirit working in us, we still need to get up and go do our work. Like Paul said of Timothy, “he worketh the work of the Lord,” [1 Cor 16:10]. We are not robots. We are vessels through which God works. But we need to study [2 Tim 2:15]. We need to witness. We need to give. We need to attend to preaching and teaching. We need to be actively building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ laid by Paul [1 Cor 3:10-15] because we are going to give account to God at the judgment seat of Christ for our work. We shouldn’t work to impress God or men, we should work solely because God wants to work through us. That’s what pleases God.
Conclusion: Before we were saved the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience [Eph 2:2] worked in us. In order for this spirit to not work in you, you need to be saved and be obedient to the Lord. He will take over and work through you, along with his Spirit, his word and his grace. You will become fruitful in your salvation and pleasing to God if you live by what works.