When we trust in God for our salvation, we need to be careful with what we do with that pronoun “we.” We often think that it is God’s task to save each individual soul, and then we assume that the whole operation is then handed over to the collective “us,” whether in the church, or movement, or club, and we work it out from there.
But God saves each individual soul at the point of regeneration, when each person is converted, and then God continues His project, knitting us all together in Christ. We are being grown up into the perfect man, and the Holy Spirit begins the work when each heart of stone is turned to a heart of flesh, and the Spirit continues His work as He fits us all together as a living organism—the bride of Christ.
What God begins, God continues, and God completes. Paul rebukes the Galatians for their misunderstanding of this point. They had come to believe that grace gets us started, but that we were then supposed to finish by human effort in the flesh. But not only are we not supposed to finish our individual race on our own steam, we are not supposed to finish individually at all.
We are being grown together in love. God is in the process of creating something that is beyond a marvel, and so we submit to what He is doing as we surrender to love, resist envy, accept responsibility, and word hard. We do not yet see the end result of all this—how could we?—but we can know something of the nature of it.
We don’t know what it is going to look like, but we should know how it tastes.