He’s still working on me? (Ben)

My brother, the famous Aaron Lee Hixson, has often told me that his favorite thing I’ve ever said was: “I’m a work in progress, but I won’t progress without work.” Frankly I’m surprised that it isn’t “I’ll let you live this time” – but not only is that a different story, it evidently isn’t true. A quick look at Facebook confirmed that, indeed, I am quoted as saying this – right after a Bible verse and after a Relient k lyric – I’m so honored.

The funny thing about this phrase (besides the fact that I don’t remember ever saying it) is that I always have wondered if it is even true! My college years were spend questioning, studying, and interacting with the idea of sanctification. Discipleship is a huge passion of mine – the driving force behind why I am passionate about vocational ministry – so sanctification was very important to me. Namely: since one is completely justified and sanctified through the atoning work of Jesus and repentance/belief (the gospel), how then does one live? By this I mean, sanctification cannot be an act of works (only grace)… so how do we grow in grace!? How do we put do death the flesh and put on the works of the Spirit?

These were questions I wrestled with (and continue to grow and contend with) during college. I found a lot of help and perspective through guys who had studied grace far me than myself… but the answers were always so abstract and difficult to nail down.

As I keep feeding myself with God’s Word, I keep my eyes open for articles and messages on the subject. Today I came across a particularly well worded and studied article. You can (and should) read it here. One thought I want to make though has to do with this phrase from the end of the post:

The real question, then, is: What are you going to do now that you don’t have to do anything? What will your life look like lived under the banner which reads “It is finished?

As I read this phrase, the first thought that came to my head originated from Sunday School song time: does the song “He’s still working on me” present false teaching? If one is redeemed, and sanctification comes from the inside out (read the article), does this song give the wrong impression?

Thinking and welcoming your thoughts.

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2 Responses to He’s still working on me? (Ben)

  1. Allie says:

    Wow is all I have to say!! I went to a secular college and was SCARED to death my first semester that I was a Christian and was completely different than my three roommates that first year. Grace is something I am still learning about and it is something that I struggle with. Thank you for writing this blog today Ben. No matter how long we are here on this planet, and how long we walk with the Lord we are always going to be transformed and crafted into what the Lord has for us.

  2. Jon says:

    It is a bit of a quandary, isn’t it? While “It is finished” rings true, truly, He is still working on us. I think this is a part of the “already/not yet” mystery that seems to encompass so much of our lives as Christian. Yes, we are already righteous in God’s sight. But at the same time, a quick look will show you we are not yet perfect. The greatest difficulty (for me) is knowing that God sees me as righteous when I daily see my imperfections. Only by His grace.

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