Cooperating with God


Martin Luther gave the following analogy: When we are justified, it is as though a doctor has just administered a sure and certain remedy for a fatal disease. Though the patient may still endure a temporary struggle with the residual effects of his illness, the outcome is no longer in doubt. The physician pronounces the patient cured even though a rehabilitation process must still be carried out.

So it is with our justification. In Christ, God pronounces us just by the imputation of the merits of His Son. Along with that declaration, God administers something to us; He gives us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit begins immediately to work within us to bring us to holy living.

The New Testament contains a ringing paradox with respect to sanctification. The Bible says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for God is at work within you both to will and to do” (Phil. 2:12b–13a). Notice that there are two agents working here. We are called to work and God promises to work as well. We call this activity synergism. It is a cooperative effort between God and man.

Coram Deo

Are you cooperating with God in the process of sanctification or are you depending on Him to do it all?

Passages for Further Study

2 Corinthians 6:2
Romans 13:11
Philippians 2:12

Ligonier Ministries

About Jian Ming Zhong

In short, I am a five point calvinist, amillennial, post-trib rapture, paeudobaptistic (not for salvation), classical cessationism , and covenantal. I embrace Reformed Theology and subscribe to the WCF 1647. I do not break fellowship with anyone who holds to the essentials of the faith (i.e., the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, Jesus' Physical Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Salvation by Grace through Faith alone, Monotheism, and the Gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) but does not affirm Calvinist Theology in the non-essentials. I strongly believe that God's grace and mercy are so extensive that within the Christian community there is a wide range of beliefs and as long as the essentials are not violated, then anyone who holds to those essentials but differs in the non-essentials is my brother or sister in Christ. Romans 11:36 "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To whom be Glory forever. Amen!"
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