Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Tested and Tempted, Part 2 of 2
From Fred Carpenter
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
In last week’s devotional, we considered the Greek word “peirazo”, which literally means, “to make proof of.” We discovered that in the New Testament it is sometimes translated as “test” and sometimes as “tempt.” We concluded that Satan “tempts” us to prove that we are not who God says we are, and God “tests” us to prove that we are exactly who He says we are. Are you confident when you face a test in life?
In the world of higher education, there are certain schools into which it is extremely difficult to gain admission. Yet once a candidate is admitted, the entire program is geared to ensure that the candidate will successfully complete his or her course of study. In fact, Business Insider (an online news magazine) recently ran the story, “13 Schools Where It’s Almost Impossible To Fail.” Each of the schools listed are elite schools with extremely selective admissions. The list includes, the Harvard and Yale Law Schools, the Columbia Business School and MIT.
While qualification for admittance into the postgraduate programs described above is extremely difficult, qualification for a right relationship with God is immeasurably more difficult. It requires perfection, which of course is humanly impossible! That is why Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. However, once you have trusted in God’s provision for you and you have entered into an intimate, eternal relationship with Him, then God will do whatever it takes to transform you into the person He intends you to be. This truth is supported by Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
C.H. Spurgeon was once asked whether he believed in the reformed doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints. “Well,” said he, “I do not know much about that, but I firmly believe in the final perseverance of God, that where he has begun a good work he will carry it on until it is complete.”
If you do not have the confidence this is true, then consider that one of two things may be at work in your life: 1) perhaps you’ve never really placed your faith in God’s promised Deliverer, or 2) you may have done that, but you don’t yet understand how secure your relationship is in Him.
If you feel that the first option describes you, then go immediately to the Knowing God section of the online study guide for The HOPE video. Consider what God has done on your behalf to secure for you eternal life in Christ, and receive His loving gift of grace. If you feel that the second option describes you, then prayerfully read and meditate on the following verses and ask God to show you just how secure your relationship is in Him! John 6:47, John 6:40, John 10:28–29, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:29, Romans 8:39, 1 Corinthians 1:8. Our prayer for you is that, like Paul, you would be confident in Christ.
This devotional is based on Chapter 8, Lesson 45 from The HOPE Study Guide: http://www.thehopeproject.com/Home/Lesson?id=45