A Settled Confidence in the Work of God


Philippians 1:6  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it or bring it unto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

One of the greatest joys that any minister has, is not based on the state their church is currently in.  It’s the joy in the heart that knows what that church will ultimately become.  You want to know something?  If you look at what the church is, you can get very discouraged.

Church is hard beloved. When you meet together on Sunday that is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for the self-righteous. If you just look at the church for what it is, you will fail to fully see the big picture, but if you look at what the church is going to be, you can get very excited.  That’s the perspective Paul has as he writes to this Philippian church.

The word confident is the Greek verb peithō which means to be persuaded, to be sure, to be absolutely convinced, and that’s what he’s saying.  “I am absolutely convinced of this very thing.”  What is it, Paul? “That He who began a work in you,” who’s that?  God – God began the work.

That’s who began it.  The verb “began” is interesting – it’s only used two times in the New Testament, enarchomai – it’s a rare word.  It’s used here and Galatians 3:3.  In both cases, it has reference to salvation.  So he says God began a good work, and it was true.  It is always true.  Salvation is the work of God.

The point that Paul is making in verse 6 is this.  “I am confident, assured, persuaded, absolutely convinced of this very thing, that God who saved you and started a noble work”  – “will” – what – “perfect it.”  That is brought to its perfect completion.

Paul doesn’t say, “I hope this works out.”  He says, “I’m confident of this.  I am assured of this.  I am absolutely convinced of this.  I am fully persuaded of this one thing, that God who saved you and began the noble sanctifying work will complete it.”  It’s a great statement.

What God begins, He completes.  This is the perseverance, or the preservation of the saints, this is what we call eternal security; that the God who saved you by His power will keep you by His power. He never tires, he never grows weary, he never sleeps, never loses sight, if you are born again as a child of God by grace through faith then you will be kept until you are glorified in eternity.

And “who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him that loved us. I am convinced neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35, 37-39).

Jesus said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and I have lost none of them, but shall raise him up at the last day.”  Nobody is lost in the process.

But Paul does something here that is very important, he does not begin the reasons for his thanksgiving with the confidence he has for God’s finishing work, rather he sandwiches his confidence in God between the two displays of the Philippian’s faithfulness” (Phil. 1:5, 7).

Paul knows what can happen when we use eternal security as a reason to coast or take lightly our need to be faithful and obedient to the commandments of Christ. Paul is making sure that these Philippians don’t ever see their security in God as a means to become complacent in their Christian walk, and beloved we need to hear this very much ourselves!

We must never grow cold or complacent in our confidence in Christ. Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy, negligent, or careless, but on the contrary it awakens us, urges us on, and makes us active in living righteous and obedient lives by loving God more and loving people more!

Beloved, the seeds of grace that you claim have been planted in your heart will always be revealed by the fruit of your faithfulness. Where fruit does not exist, faith does not exist. If you have come to Jesus Christ through faith and repentance, and your desires have been changed to see him as more glorious and more wonderful than all worldly treasures, and you long to be faithfully obedient in order that his glory may be seen throughout the world, then you can know that God has began a good work in you, and he will perfectly bring it unto completion.

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