Section Three – Trust that God will do the work

Trust that God will do the work.

If Paul had ended with verse 12, it would have meant that all of the responsibility for becoming like Jesus rested on us.  Becoming more like Jesus would be a daily battle, one that we would often lose . But thankfully, Paul had more to say!  The entire verse reads:

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (emphasis added)

God is the one making the changes in us.  We try to obey God, yet it is God who gives us the desire to obey, and it is God who enables us to become more like Him. It is God that gives us the desire and ability to do it.  This is why abiding in Christ (remember John 15) is so important if we hope to experience change in our lives as followers of Jesus.

Read John 15:5 again. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Just as a bud has no hope of becoming a fruit apart from the vine, we have no hope of experiencing lasting change apart from a relationship with Jesus.  Not a check the box relationship, but one where you are dedicating your time and effort in becoming more like Jesus.

We hope this verse has more meaning for you now that you have worked through several units. It is only through remaining/abiding in Christ that our lives will ever have a chance of fulfilling our new purpose of becoming more like Him.

In Unit 4, we will address the question, “What should look different?” What does a life that imitates Jesus look like? How can we obey His commands? Unit 4 will give you five basic characteristics of someone growing in their relationship with Jesus and becoming more like Him.

Discussion with Friends questions:

  • Read John 15:4-5.  What happens to the person who tries to live the Christian life apart from following and depending on Christ?
  • What is your new purpose as a believer?  How does this impact how you live your life day by day? {Ephesians 5:1-2}
  • What does it look like to “live a life of love?”
  • What are some ways we can show love to God by keeping His commands?  Is there a habit I should begin (i.e. prayer, reading the Bible, etc) or is something happening in my life that shouldn’t be?

 

Back to: New Believer > Now that I am a Christian, should my life look differently?

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