Salvation as we know it in the evangelical church is not the end. We have not arrived once we give our lives to Christ. In reality, it’s just barely the beginning. Now it certainly is a BIG beginning and the greatest event, greatest decision, and greatest opportunity even to happen to mankind. But it is still just a starting point.
The ending: That great beginning is so tremendous, and the race so extensive in longevity that it will not be complete until either the coming of Christ or we get called up to meet Him when we die.
So, although I had a supernatural change on Sept.4, 1974, the night I asked our Lord Jesus Christ into my heart, there has been a continual process of seeing myself still in the making. And for sure and certain, I am excited that God is not through with me yet.
Christ is still being formed in me as He is in you. When we move in word (what we say), deed (what we do) or thought (what we are thinking) we do so from the inadequacies of one who is still partially formed, as one who is not fully formed into the image of our Savior and King.
My hope that gives encouragement is that God is more committed to getting me there then I am. He is committed to me being presented to Him as His inheritance, pure, spotless and without blame. Any attempt of mine to get to and maintain this would be the "religion of self" and being holy in my own eyes. But if I do as Paul says and die to self daily then Christ can live His life in and through me. This was what John the Baptist meant when he said that he had to decrease so that Christ would increase.
Galatians 4:19 ESV my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
So run the race, be faithful, we are all a work in progress.