A Bible study group met, and was studying a prophecy of Christ in Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.” Some decided to visit a silversmith, to see what he had to say on the subject. They asked him to describe the process of refining silver. After he gave his description, they asked, “What do you do while the work of refining is going on?” He answered, “I sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the furnace, because if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver is injured.” Suddenly, they further understood the expression, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees the need to put His servants into a furnace, while His eye is faithfully watching with wisdom and love, the work of purifying in His children. They realized that trials do not come at random, and He will not allow us to be tested beyond our endurance. Before they left, one asked a final question, “When do you know the process is complete?” “Why, that is quite simple,” replied the silversmith. “When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished.”
We read in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word for “workmanship” is the Greek word from which we get the English word poem. John McArthur adds, “Our lives are like a divinely written sonnet, a literary masterpiece.”
The admonition in Philippians 2:12 is to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” The expression “work out” presents the idea of working out to an ultimate goal, or to finish, as in a scientific or mathematical problem. Further, the word “salvation” is a spacious word, used of a believer in three tenses. We have been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin – justification. We are now being saved from sin’s appeal and power – sanctification. Finally, we will yet be saved from its defiling presence – glorification.
Little Mary surrendered her life to Christ, and she desired to be clean within and to be kept pure. She prayed, “O Lord, make me gooder and gooder and gooder until there is no bad left!”
“He who is truly born of God is sure to resemble his Father.”
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654