April 29, 2021 – Philippians 1:6

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Philippians 1:6 –  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul is with Timothy when he writes this letter to the Church of Philippi.  He starts by telling them how thankful he is for them.  “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5.  He tells them that every time they come to his mind, he gives thanks to God for them.  That he prays for them when he does, with much joy and happiness for the help he has received in spreading the gospel to those in Philippi.

Then we come to our focus verse.  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.  When he says he is confident, this is  strong language meaning to be fully and firmly persuaded or convinced.  It means here that Paul is entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. It is the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject referred to.  In essence, Paul is telling them that God will continue to work in them in this work until the end comes and Jesus Christ returns and makes all things right.  This day is often referred to as “The Day of the Lord” or “His Day” because it will be the day of his triumph and glory. It refers here to the day when the Lord Jesus will appear to receive his people to himself – the day of judgment.  And this is a day Paul and probably the Church in Philippi were looking forward to. 

Now, there are two ways to look at this.  One way is that the work God in started within the Church of Philippi He was doing an amazing work through them to help Paul and the body of Christ.  It was their role to edify the body and help them grow and become a strong force in the area in which they had oversight. And I believe this is valid and true, for they provided much material assistance to Paul and those who were with him.   However, I believe there is another view which I believe is more relevant and still strengthens the Church there in Philippi.  And that is that Paul is speaking of the individual Christians in the Church. 

The wording Paul uses in this verse makes it clear that it is the individual Christians that he is referring to.  Note the wording “in you” rather than “through you”.  This places the emphasis on what God is doing in them or among them, and not what He is doing through them.  The work referred to speaks of their growth in Christ.  Therefore, this term refers to their salvation in Christ, and in this case another way of speaking about their participation in the gospel, not so much about their sharing it but in experiencing it and living it out.  Therefore, Paul is thankful for how God is strengthening them and helping them grow in the Spirit. 

And Paul is confident that because of how God has started this good work in them, He will continue it until Christ returns.  And this refers to the present as well.  In all of us who have believed and become disciples of Christ, He will continue this good work He has started in us.  We are called to give ourselves to Christ in totality.  When we do this, then God will do His work in helping us grow in our faith in Him.  But He can do this only if we are serious in allowing Him to do this work in us.  He will not abandon us, on the contrary, He is always with us.  He will never leave us, but we must be careful we do not walk away or allow our faith to grow cold.  “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU, so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” Hebrews 13:5-6.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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