Galatians 2:8 (for he who worked (Gk. energéō) through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked (Gk. energéō) also through me for mine to the Gentiles) (“GK” stands for the Greek word in the original Greek text of the New Testament).
It would be nice if every church could have a Noticeboard with the words printed on it, “Caution! God At Work Here!” However some folk might be a bit reticent about having such a sign. They could think that it might be hard to point to some indication of outward divine activity in their particular church life. Nevertheless it should be a true statement. God has been at work through His people over generations. It may be that we simply fail to recognise what He is doing amongst His people. He really is at work, as He was once at work in and through Peter and Paul.
1). God At Work In And Through Peter And Paul
Galatians 2:8. “for he who worked (Gk. energéō) through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked (Gk. energéō) also through me for mine to the Gentiles).” Paul was emphasising that it was the same God (Yahweh) who was at work in both Peter and himself. Their ministry might be to different people (Peter to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles) but it was the same God empowering them to do what they were doing.
However this divine working in humans was not limited to Paul and Peter . Others can be and are the recipients of God’s work in them. We see that especially in Philippians 2:12-13.
2). God At Work In And Through His People
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out (Gk. katergázomai) your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works (Gk. energéō) in you, both to will and to work (Gk. energéō) for his good pleasure. (See my previous articles numbered 024 and 065 for more detailed discussion on these verses). We note here though that the word for “work out” in verse 12 has the meaning to bring to fruition, to accomplish, to complete a task.
God at work! In His people! But they have to work out in practice what He is inwardly working in them.
Paul certainly followed his own advice. When he reminded the Romans about his ministry he wrote, Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished (Gk. katergázomai) through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed. Paul had been working for God while God had been working in him. What Paul accomplished was what God was working in him. What God was working in him Christ accomplished through Paul as Paul sought to “work out” in practice, the implications of his salvation.
3). God At Work Through You And Me
It is an exciting truth to discover that we are not left alone to work for God using our own resources. He wants to accomplish His will through His people. So He works within them (as we see in Philippians 2:13) to give them the willingness and the ability to do His will. Like Paul our only boast will be in what Christ accomplishes through us as we willingly offer ourselves to Him to fulfil His purposes.
How wonderful to know that when we are motivated to live for God it means that we are responding to His working within us. Even more wonderful to know is that He empowers us to do what He has inwardly motivated us to do.
A Prayer asking God to work in and through us to His glory
Lord God, I thank You that You are at work within me as I seek to live for You. I thank You too that You motivate me and empower me to live in a way that brings You pleasure. I open every area of my life to You so that You can do in me and through me whatever You wish. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I may know what it is You want me to say and to do in every circumstance of my life. I ask this so that the name of Jesus may be glorified in every moment of my life. AMEN
OR a shorter prayer
“Heavenly Father , please empower me by Your Spirit to enable me to work out in my life everything that You are working within me. Amen
Blog No. 153. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Monday 21st July 2014.
Amazon Kindle books authored by Jim Holbeck:
1. The Searching And Knowing God Who Loves And Cares: Reflections on Psalm 139.
2. The Godly Reward for True Humility. Studies in St Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians.
Website. Click on :- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=holbeck