God Is the Source of Power
The power to do good things comes from God and this power works in the Christian to accomplish its good purpose. The Bible declares, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). The Lord provides the stimulus for our first decision to accept salvation and the power to make that decision a reality.
This does not mean that a person is without a role to play but that the Lord first provides the stimulus that arises the wish to be saved. He helps a person to make the decision to obtain redemption. And then, He provides a person with the power to make the decision effective so that redemption is carried out in the life.
Thus, salvation is considered a cooperative work between the Lord and man, with God providing all the needed strength for man’s use. God wants all men to be saved. He has done everything to make that possible. It is His “good pleasure” that people should be restored to His divine image (Genesis 1:26).
Paul declared that Christ was the source of all his own power: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). All that needed to be done could be done by Christ-given strength. When the divine commands are faithfully followed, the Lord makes Himself responsible for the success of the work carried out by the believer. In Christ, there is strength to do every godly duty, power to fight temptation, and help to endure hardships.
The Miracle of Transformation
Doing God’s will is the greatest miracle of the Christian life. There is no forcing yourself to be good! What you do as a Christian comes naturally out of another Person’s life inside you. Obedience becomes a spontaneous response to God’s love in your life. To please someone you love is not hard, but a Joy. David proclaimed, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:8). The believer gladly obeys God with joy of heart. And God will do the work of change.
All the believer needs to do is to yield to God’s will. As the believer looks at Jesus through the study of His Word, his evil nature changes. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Change takes place by contemplating Christ (Romans 12:2; Galatians 4:19). The plan of redemption aims to restore the image of God in man (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2).
Fellowship with Christ changes the spiritual nature. If a believer faithfully continues to abide in Christ, he will go on “from glory to glory” in his personal walk with the Lord (2 Peter 1:5–7). The change goes on from one stage to another. The believer’s spiritual growth happens through God’s revelations and produces the fruits of godliness.
The spiritual change that originates from Christ happens only through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who, having been accepted in the heart, changes, sanctifies, and glorifies the nature and transforms it into the likeness of Christ’s holy life. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit is not the natural product of human efforts, but of a power completely outside of man and works in the life when the Spirit has control (Galatians 5:18)
In His service,