“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
The use of the word “both” in this verse shows that God provides the first motivation for our initial desire to accept His free salvation and then He also provides the power to make that decision effective. This does not mean that we are passive beings but that God provides the desire to be saved, He enables us to make the decision to attain salvation, and then He also supplies us with the grace and power to make the decision fruitful so that salvation is realized and seen in our lives.
God’s will for main is to be saved. In fact, no one desires our redemption more eagerly than the Father. It is His “good pleasure” that men should be saved. And He has done all that is possible to make this a reality. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Therefore, salvation is a cooperative work between God and man, with God providing all the needed grace for man’s use and man by faith hanging on God for every good gift. God is the only source of moral and physical benefits, whether given to Christians or to non-Christians.
Every good impulse is from God. And the Lord works through men as long as they seek Him (John 6:37) and abide in Him. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).
A continuous abiding in a living connection with Christ is essential for growth and fruitfulness. It is not possible for one branch to depend upon another for its life; each must maintain its own personal relationship to the vine. Each branch must bear its own fruits.
Therefore, to abide in Christ means that the soul must be in daily, constant communion with Jesus Christ through prayer and study of the word. And the soul should walk as Christ lived (Gal. 2:20). Thus it is seen that God does the good works in us, “For we are His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,