Philippians 1 … Consider Him Who Perfectly Completes Every Good Work He Begins

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, (1:6).

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, (1:6 NKJV).

The book of Philippians is often referred to as the book of joy. Sixteen times Paul uses some form of joy or rejoice in this short letter of four chapters to the church in Philippi. And when considering that Paul found himself in prison during the time of this writing, joy may seem like somewhat of a contradiction of terms.

If we were asked to describe the year 2020 in a nutshell, I imagine joy may not be the first adjective that came rolling off our tongues. So how did that become Paul’s focus?

Paul did not form his thoughts or his attitudes from out of his circumstances. Rather, Paul trusted Christ Who Began the Good Work in him; and from this place of faith, Paul interpreted all of life as a process the Lord was using to accomplish His good purpose in Paul; fully expecting Him to Perfectly Complete Every Good Work He Begins.

Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament

Begin/Start: 68.3 ἐνάρχομαι: to begin in a particular state or relationship—‘to begin, to commence.’

Perfect/Complete: 68.22 ἐπιτελέω: to bring an activity to a successful finish—‘to complete, to finish, to end, to accomplish.’

The fact is, events of life often seek to convince us that we are abandoned, that there’s been some mistake, that God must not be paying attention. Surely this cannot be the life for us that He intended. Didn’t coming to Jesus mean bliss and blessings, happiness and joy? Well actually it does. Just not in the same manner as the world may describe.

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (1:29).

Wait, what? Suffering has been granted to us right along with believing in Him? And there’s the rub. Suffering is a gift. And if we will view it as an essential part of our walk with Him, then we too will trust Him to Perfectly Complete Every Good Work He Begins.

Consider Him Who Perfectly Completes Every Good Work He Begins

  • He will Perfectly Complete His Good Work of Love in us.
    • And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, (1:9).
      • Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, (1 John 4:7).
  • He will Perfectly Complete His Good Work of holiness in us.
    • so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; (1:10).
      • “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth,” (John 17:17).
  • He will Perfectly Complete His Good Work of righteousness in us.
    • having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God, (1:11).
      • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified, (Romans 8:28-30).

How do we respond to Him Who Perfectly Completes Every Good Work He Begins?

We have much we can learn from the apostle, Paul, who lived his life trusting God to Complete what He Began. We must do the same.

Paul’s view on his own life was that it wasn’t his own at all.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain, (1:21).

And from that vantage point, he could face whatever life threw at him with joy and hope. Paul knew God was much more concerned with his character than his comfort, and it was Paul’s commitment to living with his eye on eternity that strengthened his faith in Him Who Perfectly Completes Every Good Work He Begins, knowing that the sufferings of this life would one day pale into oblivion in light of what awaited him in Glory.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

We can pray for ourselves the same prayer Paul prayed for the Philippians, that we too would develop eyes to see beyond the seen to the unseen.

And this I pray, that [my] love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that [I] may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Let us ask the Lord to so grow our love for Him, that we will live in sincerity and truth and filled with the righteousness of Christ, that we may truly come to the place where life is really all about Jesus. Oh that we too would grow to accept times of suffering as a gift that will accomplish His purpose, fully convinced that He Will Perfectly Complete Every Good Work He Begins in us for His glory and good pleasure.

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).

Let’s Grow Together!

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