Many years ago, someone asked me whether Christ has finished his work. My short reply at the time was, “Yes. Of course, Christ has finished his work, after all, He said, “It is finished.” In hindsight, I wish someone would ask me that question again, for the answer I gave then, although not incorrect, was not really a complete answer.
Paul in Romans 15:18 says he will not venture to speak of anything except that which Christ has worked in him to win people for Christ by preaching and life (emphasis added). Paul when speaking about the work of Christ through Him to win others for Christ is referring to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, sent out from the Father and the Son, to win people unto salvation. So, in that sense, the Father’s work, nor the Son’s work, nor the Holy Spirit’s work is ever complete.
Notice also then that Christ’s work did not finish at His ascension but His work continues through us. We are the tools, the instruments that He uses to reach the lost for Christ. Yes, He uses His word, but even that needs to be proclaimed and explained by His willing instruments. That is also how Paul brought the good news of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. And the tools He uses to win people into His kingdom are not just Pastors/ministers and elders, but all Christians, both male and female.
As much as I am reluctant to encourage ‘belly-button’ gazing, occasionally it is a worthwhile exercise. The question is not whether the Father in heaven is still working. He is. The question is not whether Christ is alive. He is. The question is not whether He has completed His work of salvation. He has! (Jn 19:28ff). The question is whether we are available for His use?
Now I know we are all busy but I suggest our willingness to be used by our Saviour is where gospel missions begin. Yes, God can use whatever means He wishes to win people for Himself into the Kingdom, but usually, He uses Christians. And missions include all sorts of activities; assisting the needy, Christian politics, Christian education, Christian training seminars, Christian parenting, sending and supporting missionaries, translating the Scriptures and many more. All of them, Christ working in us by His Spirit to the glory of the Father.
Finally, because it is the work of Christ by His Holy Spirit through us, no boasting is allowed, except that which Christ has accomplished through us, weak vessels that we are. So, without any further fanfare, let’s just quietly get on with the ministry He has put before us, to His glory. JZ