I really need to clarify an obvious objection to what we have been discussing…
God’s work in us can certainly seem like a gradual work – so when we hear someone declaring God’s immediate work in us… it is possible to become a little confused.
Christ’s work in us IS a completed work. The work is already done.
But just because God’s work in us is not a gradual process (fixing us, incrementally, through time), does not mean there is not a process involved.
The work is finished. But the work must take it’s course in our lives.
It is a bit like this… Let’s say you have contracted a rare, fatal disease – but you find a doctor who prescribes a controversial injection of an experimental drug.
The doctor tells you: “When I give you this medicine, you will be cured… but the cure will take time. It will have to run its course. It will alleviate every symptom, and every chronic issue. But it will not happen overnight. Just trust in it – from the moment you receive this remedy, your disease is defeated.”
When it comes to God’s cure for the malignant malady of our sin (and our sin nature) it is a one-time “shot.” Jesus IS the cure! The cure is immediate, and permanent – but… we must still be renewed. There are symptoms that need arrested, brokenness that needs healed, and issues that need to be resolved. These are the things that will take time. This is the process. It is renewal… a restoration.
The proper Biblical concept is this: We are not becoming new — we are new… and being renewed. The means of our renewal is already within us. The cure has already been applied. The cure is effecting changes from within us – working its way out.
Or we could look at it this way… a work of gradual process would be God working on us. A work of the completed work of Christ is God working from within us – from the inside out. Applying His divine handiwork to every area of our lives.
Do you see the difference? We are not seeking for God to do something for us… we are applying, by faith, what He has already done for us. In every issue of our lives.
And that is what Scripture teaches us. God gives us the cure… a new life, a new nature, a new you. This “newness” is created to BE just like God. It doesn’t come to us in increments (as we earn it or deserve it) – it comes to us as the complete and total package. It is a gift from God… to dwell within the core of our beings – and to transform our lives completely. We just have to commit to allow His work, to work.
And the way we do that, is by taking off the old and putting on the new. Each day. Every day. Consciously… until we do it unconsciously.
The new you is given to transform our lives – but we must do our part. We must trust in the completed work of Jesus. We must submit to Him completely. We must surrender to His love for us. We must apply His work, by faith (Romans 1:17!) And… we must make no allowance for the “old you” to have any more say in our lives.
The really good news is this… Although that trusting, submitting, surrendering, and applying may seem really difficult… we have also received a divine Helper. The Holy Spirit is also a gift from God to every believer – to aid and assist us in receiving the full effects of God’s cure. We are never alone. We are never doing this on our own. The Great Physician has made every provision for our complete cure.
Prayer focus: God, I surrender to the fullness of Your completed work in me… Holy Spirit, compel my heart to live in all that Jesus has already done for me.