We all have responsibilities. Some of mine, as a wife and mother, include cleaning the house and making sure meals are on the table, caring for my kids and making sure they’re healthy in body, mind, and soul, caring for and supporting my husband. I have responsibilities at church, where I am a member of the choir and the LWML, as well as a school where I volunteer. We all have responsibilities.
Some people try to shirk their responsibilities and pass them off to others. “I don’t have to help with this or that; it’ll get done without me because someone else will do it.” There are also people who try to take every responsibility upon themselves. “If I want something done right, I have to do it myself!” Then there are those who will do both, with different things. I am one of those. I take on too much of what I really enjoy and try to avoid the unpleasant things. It does not make for good balance. But that is another post.
What about the responsibility of our faith? Of our salvation? This, too, can be problematic when people want to take too much or too little responsibility for a life of faith.
During church today, one of the readings included Philippians 1:6 “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.” The Apostle Paul is speaking here about the partnership in the Gospel that the church in Philippi has entered with him. Isn’t that what our faith is about? We believe and are saved by faith through God’s wonderful grace, but it doesn’t end there. We are brought into partnership with all Christians, all believers, to share that grace and mercy that has already been (and is daily being) poured out on us. But look back at the verse. It says that “he [God] who began a good work in you.” It does not say “You began this good work.” Who is responsibile for our salvation? Jesus, of course! Then Paul continues, “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” So God starts it and finishes it! We do have the responsibility of sharing God’s Word of grace and mercy, as well as remaining faithful, but He does not leave us alone in this. The Holy Spirit is with us, giving us all that we need to do the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do! (Ephesians 2:10) He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and we can rest in the knowledge that it is not on our shoulders, but is a yoke shared with Him (Matthew 11:29)!