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He Began a Good Work in You

Over Moody Bible Institute’s 134-year history there have been hundreds of faculty members who have influenced the lives of future Christian ministry leaders. In July 2019, Dr. Rosalie de Rosset celebrated 50 years of teaching. During her tenure, she has taught more than 8,000 students. When I asked her about her favorite passage of Scripture she replied, “Nothing seems more true of my life than Philippians 1:6.”

This verse comes in the middle of Paul’s greeting to the believers in Philippi, “all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus” (v. 1). He opens with a prayer of thankfulness to the Philippians for their generosity and faithfulness while he has been in prison (v. 7). He expresses his confidence that God has started a good work in them and will continue to see it through “until the day of Christ Jesus” (v. 6).

Paul’s emphasis in verse 11 is not on the Philippians, but rather it is on God! Paul believes that it is only through God’s grace that anything good will become of them. Notice his prayer that the Philippian church will be shaped by God’s love (v. 9), able to discern godly behavior (v. 19), be pure and blameless (v. 10), and produce fruit of righteousness (v. 11). How? It is only “through Jesus Christ” and to give “glory and praise” to God (v. 11). De Rosset says, “I think of these words [Phil. 1:6] often because like many, my life has been a series of what I would call stumblings forward, taking escapes and being brought back. Each decade of my life is a new lesson in obedience, experiencing greater conviction, wanting more to obey and love the Lord and to follow Him more profoundly no matter what. What rings in my soul most fully and moves me most deeply is that He performed the work in my life.”

>> Since the day you were born, God was beginning a good work in you. God is still working in your life to complete what He started. Each decade and each moment of your life is a testimony of what He has done. Praise Him for your journey.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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