The sixth saying of Jesus Christ from the Cross of Calvary was “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Jesus had mentioned that He had come to do the will of God the Father (John 6:38) and now in His status report, He was affirming that the task of saving mankind and reconciling man back to God was complete. God’s will for Jesus was to be the substitutionary acceptable Sacrifice, by drinking the cup of God’s wrath as a means of judgment against sin, so that each of us would not have to. This was the “Saving” will of God and It is Finished.
But God also wills that each one of us are Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16). In other words, God wants us to be perfect. His will is for us to be blameless before Him. The Only One who can present us blameless before God is Jesus Christ (Jude 1:24). This is the “Sanctifying” will of God for us through Jesus Christ. But you and I are far from being blameless and in our fraility, many times we disappoint God with our willful disobedience.
The Bible says that we ought to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12). This does not mean that we need to or can earn our salvation of eternal life by living a life of piety or penance. Though some religion mistakenly prescribe a life of piety or penance, no one can earn his/her own salvation. It is a free gift of God that is granted to all who believe in God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ. Then what does the Bible mean by “work out your own salvation”? The first thing to realize, as someone mentioned, is that “Salvation must be worked in, before it can be worked out”. In other words, we must first trust and believe in Jesus to SAVE us (working IN of Salvation) and then we must trust and believe in Jesus to SANCTIFY us and make us perfect/blameless (working OUT of Salvation).
Points to ponder:
For the “Saving” will of God, Jesus said, “It is Finished.”
Now for the “Sanctifying” will of God, wherein we must conform to His image and be Holy as He is Holy, can Jesus say to God the Father, when He presents you and me before God’s Holy and Just throne, “It is Finished.” as well? Think upon it and act.
John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.