Experiencing Christ

Willing and Working His Good Pleasure

Phil. 2:13  For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure. Rom. 8:6  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.

In verse 13 Paul says that God operates in us “both the willing and the working for His good pleasure.” Where within us does this willing take place? It must be in our will. This indicates that God’s operation begins from our spirit and spreads into our mind, emotion, and will. We have pointed out that the grace of Christ is with our spirit. However, God’s operating to will in us involves not only our spirit but also our will. Therefore, God’s operation must spread from our spirit into our will.

As God operates the willing within us, He carries out His working. This corresponds to Romans 8, where we see that God works not only in our spirit, but also in our mind and eventually in our physical body (vv. 6, 11). We will in our will, and we work in our body. The Triune God operates in us from our spirit, through our will, and then into our physical body.

God’s operating is for His good pleasure. His good pleasure is the heart’s desire of His will (Eph. 1:5) that we may reach the climax of His supreme salvation. Every living being has a good pleasure. This is especially true of God. For this reason, Paul speaks of God’s good pleasure. The good pleasure of a mother can be observed in the way she loves her child. Using this as an illustration of God’s good pleasure, we may say that God’s good pleasure is to love us in a way that makes Him happy. God’s working in us is to enable us to reach the climax of His supreme salvation. Praise Him that we are now in God’s good pleasure! As He operates in us, we cooperate with Him by obeying Him.

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