Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1

God will complete the work that he begins

Philippians 1:6

It is God who is working in the lives of his people. Our human efforts are weak and often fail (Isaiah 40:6-8); but God’s work is perfect and he never fails to achieve his purposes (Isaiah 55:10-11). Christians must not depend on themselves, but on the character and promises of God. God will bring them through their present difficulties and troubles to make them into the people that he wants them to be (Romans 8:28-30).

God has chosen them to be his children (Romans 8:16). In our present age, the full meaning of that is not clear. Christians have lives that seem much like other people’s lives in this world (Ecclesiastes 9:1-2). However, the difference between them will become very clear when Christ returns to rule all things (Revelation 21:1-8). Then God will adopt his people fully as his children (Romans 8:23). In that future age, they will no longer suffer from their human weakness; instead, they will be like Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:1-2). In other words, with a character like his, they will support his perfect rule (Isaiah 11:1-10).

Paul warned about some of the people in other churches (Galatians 4:11). He was not sure that they truly were loyal to Christ. However, Paul had seen clear evidence of God’s work in the lives of the Christians at Philippi. They were not acting in a selfish manner, they were not trying to impress other people (contrast 1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Instead, they were genuinely eager to please God. Of course they were not perfect; for example, some of them were arguing with each other (4:2). Even Paul himself did not pretend to be perfect (3:12). However, God had begun a good work in their lives, and he would certainly complete it.

Next part: Paul's love for Philippi's Christians (Philippians 1:7-8)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.