A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Don Anderson
I was meditating Philippians 1:6 recently. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” When Paul wrote this verse, he was bound in prison in Rome, chained to a Roman soldier. Paul hadn’t seen the Philippians since he visited there ten years earlier when the fledgling church began. Through Paul’s efforts and those that God raised up there, the church began to flourish. Paul learned of this while in prison and this was a great comfort to him.
But how could Paul say that he was confident God would complete what he started in their lives after having had so little contact with them?
The phrase “being confident” means to be persuaded, to have faith, or to believe. Paul was fully persuaded that God would finish what He started because he knew how God worked. This is why Paul can easily say with confidence that God would finish the good work that He began, even the work that He began before the foundation of the world!
What, then, is the “good work” that God began in us so long ago? The word “work” speaks of an act, deed, or thing done. Interestingly, the phrase in Greek reads “the good work,” meaning that it is a very specific work that God is accomplishing! This is the work of sanctification. Sanctification is simply the process of making us into the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
Note that it is God who is doing this work; only God can do this in us! It is for His purpose and glory that He is working this good work in us. Isn't it amazing that the creator of the universe is working individually in us to accomplish His specific purpose for our lives? And all for His glory! Truly amazing!
Is there a chance that God might not be able to finish this work in us? No, not a chance. God forbid! The word “will perform” in Philippians 1:6 means to bring to an end, to accomplish, or complete. The idea is that God will carry His work forward to completion. In Greek, the word is intensified meaning that it will be fully finished.
Can we truly trust God to finish what He started? Yes, absolutely. Check out Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” It is God who is doing the work in us and nothing can thwart His efforts, not even ourselves. If we can't trust God, who can we trust?
How long will this process go on and when will it finally be finished? The verse says until the day of Jesus Christ. In other words, until the rapture of the church when we will be “caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
So, you see, Paul could be absolutely assured that God would finish the good work He began in the Philippian believers. And we can be absolutely assured that God will finish the good work that He has begun in each of us!