The apostle Paul wrote the letter of Philippians from prison. Joy is a keynote and often considered the main point of the letter. Not so noticed in the letter is how he emphasizes the power of God.

Paul begins the letter by expressing his confidence “that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” Phil 1.6. We usually talk about what we must do to be saved. That talk is important and necessary. It must not, however, overshadow that the work of salvation is God’s.

When the Philippians turned to God, it was he who began in them the work of sanctification and justification. What God starts, he finishes. Given the faithfulness of the converts, God will complete the good work he began. He is both able, willing, and committed to doing this.

The day of Christ is the day that Jesus returns in order to usher all mankind into the final judgment. That day is the end point of existence on earth. All people will go from judgment into eternity. God’s work in Christians prepares them to be approved on judgment day. His complete work opens the doors of heaven for their eternal life. This is the true goal of God and of his people, the salvation of the soul, 1 Pet 1.9.

Such confidence in this knowledge of God’s power and intent is comforting.

One thought on “God’s power in Philippians: What God starts, he finishes

  1. This article is very comforting to me. When I first turned to God last July and repented of my sins, I thought I was “okay”, and I tried to start living my life as a Christian. But there was still a yearning and restlessness in my heart that I didn’t understand. After a while with more instruction and study, I realized that although I had turned to God and asked him to forgive me, there was yet one thing God wanted me to do–be baptized for remission of my sins. I believe God began a work in me when I turned to him and prayed for forgiveness. Not sure exactly what you mean by sanctification and justification, but I believe God continued the work in me after that by leading me to understand my need for baptism. I think he is continuing to work in me as I learn more and more of what he wants me to be and do as his child.

What do you think?