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.