#DailyDevotion Be Worthy Of The Father’s Calling
2Thess. 111With this in mind we’re always praying for you that our God will make you worthy of His calling and by His power accomplish every good thing you decide to do and every work of faith, 12so as to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus among you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe the Scriptures teach a divine monergism. What is that? By that we mean there is one (mon) work (ergism) through which and by which we are saved. That one work is the work of God the Father by the Son and through the Holy Spirit. If we are saved that is God’s work.
Sanctification in the broad sense of the term involves us. Truly our sanctification begins, carries through and ends with God’s work. Yet, here we are doing stuff. In our Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration article II we see:65 From this it follows that as soon as the Holy Spirit has initiated his work of regeneration and renewal in us through the Word and the holy sacraments, it is certain that we can and must cooperate by the power of the Holy Spirit, even though we still do so in great weakness. Such cooperation does not proceed from our carnal and natural powers, but from the new powers and gifts which the Holy Spirit has begun in us in conversion, 66 as St. Paul expressly and earnestly reminds us, “Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.” This is to be understood in no other way than that the converted man does good, as much and as long as God rules in him through his Holy Spirit, guides and leads him, but if God should withdraw his gracious hand man could not remain in obedience to God for one moment. But if this were to be understood as though the converted man cooperates alongside the Holy Spirit, the way two horses draw a wagon together, such a view could by no means be conceded without detriment to the divine truth.
And so, such is Paul praying for in these verses that God will make you worthy and by his power accomplish every good thing (God’s part) you decide to do and every work of faith (your part). As Paul says elsewhere, Phi. 213“since it is God Who continues to work in you, both to desire as well as to do what is pleasing to Him.” Again he says, Gal. 220“I was crucified with Christ, and I don’t live anymore, but Christ lives in me.” And here we are with our regenerate wills and our bodies doing the work of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives the will and power to do that which makes us worthy of the calling we have received. The Spirit gives the power to do the work of God among us. The Spirit uses the means of grace namely, good news of the free gift of forgiveness of sins for Christ sake in written word, the preached word, the shared word, the watered word and the breaded and wined word (or perhaps better said the Worded water and the Worded bread and wine).
Only by the gospel power does our Lord work in us to be glorified in us and we are glorified in him. We have been called for this purpose to give glory to God the Father. Jesus says, Matt. 516“So let your light shine before people that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven.” You see this is something you do and are to be about doing by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the forgiveness of sins. It is only by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we do any good before the Father. It is expected we will be doing it. We are God’s children by grace through faith in Jesus. We have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the means of grace. As God’s children, we will be about doing the work of God. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians is his prayer for you. It is a prayer according to the will of God. His prayer will be answered in your life. So go joyfully living out your sanctified life.
Almighty God and merciful Father, hear the prayer of St. Paul on our behalf as well. Make us worthy of the calling you have called us and so be glorify Jesus and glorify us in Christ to the praise your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.