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Mar 06, 2022 08:00am
He Who Began a Good Work
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When God created humanity, he made a masterpiece. He sculpted a male body from fine particles of the earth. He fashioned woman’s body from the very substance of man. He gave them interwoven muscles, bones, and sinews to work the ground; a beautiful physique that would inspire poets, painters, and sculptors for ages to come; an intellect to invent names for all creatures on earth as well as rule over them; and the ability to communicate, share love, and fellowship with God and each other. And he made humanity in his own image, the pinnacle of his creation.

Every person born since is equally a masterpiece designed by God. Psalm 139 sings of how we are intricately and purposefully wrought in our mother’s womb, like an expert weaver effortlessly intertwining a complexity of colorful fibers. Or a potter lovingly shaping and smoothing the wet lump until it resembles his very heart. 

But God’s greatest masterpiece is not yet complete. Humanity plunged its hands into the black paint of sin and smeared it across God’s original portrait. But God was not an outraged artist; he already had a plan to lovingly restore what his children had marred. Through his Son, Jesus Christ, he would make new creations of all who repent and believe in him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

By a miracle in color theory, red mixed with black and made white; the red blood of Christ covered the black stain of our sin and turned it white as snow:

“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD:
‘though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.’” Isaiah 1:18

But will God become a bored artist and leave his whitewashed canvas of redemption unfinished? 

Will he who initiated this great masterpiece of salvation in us see it through to the end?

The apostle Paul answers with a resounding, Yes!

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

God is painting something completely new on the canvas of our hearts. In his magnum opus, he is brushing the image of his Son into our lives. And at the day of Christ’s return or our death, he will sign his name to the bottom of his work, declaring it complete. This is the intended end for all the redeemed, “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29a). 

Every triumph, every trial, every step in obedience, every setback of sin, every blessing, every suffering is a brush stroke lending its line to transform us from one degree of glory to another until we all resemble our Savior (2 Corinthians 3:18). God is a faithful artist; he will surely do it. 

It may sound boring that we are all being turned into the same likeness. But although we are produced from the same palette, each painting will not be a bland replica of the one beside it. Instead, every picture on every easel will form a glorified gallery of praise from every nation, tribe, and language, a culmination of colors exploding with delight in the Artist for all he is and has done.

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