He who began a good work in you — saving you and beginning to make you more like Jesus — he will complete that work.
If you are in Christ and have known this promise, you’ve known it is precious. “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God, by his unrivaled, infinite power, will one day remedy everything wrong about you. Now, you are counted perfect through faith in Jesus. Then, you will be presented perfect — no sin, no shame, no guilt, no doubt, no fear — nothing broken about you.
The promise is a safe word when Satan’s lies try to seduce or shame us. It’s a strong word in the midst of temptation. It’s a hopeful word when we’re confronted with our own sin and need. It’s an unwavering word when all around us seems shaky and unsure. It’s a comforting word in weakness or pain. It’s an inspiring word when we need motivation to press on in the faith, working out our salvation.Philippians 1:6 assures us of how it all will end for us, and that our end will be good, beautiful, and holy before our God.
“God, by his unrivaled, infinite power, will one day remedy everything wrong about you.”
A Work in Progress
As flawed, broken, needy sinners we love knowing that end, but what does the promise mean for our lives now, until that day? Paul’s joy in and hope for the Philippians wasn’t only aboutcompletion on the last day, but aboutprogress today, as well.
He wasn’t merely celebrating that everything would work out for good, or that God would miraculously make us holy on the last day. He was seeing fruit and growth and boldness and obedience in his relationships and ministry with these friends, and so he believed thatthat progress would continue. He was sure that the work God had started in them and among them — the work that Paul was witnessing — would increase, develop, and multiply until the end when God would finally finish the work.
How God Works
It raises the question, though, of howGod works. When he completes us for the last day, does he do all the completing on the last day? Not according to Paul’s prayer for these believers. He returns to that last day in verses 9–10, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
So, to be “complete” in Christ is to be “pure and blameless” before him. How does that happen? Here, it happens as we increasingly “approve what is excellent” (Philippians 1:10). That means being purified and prepared to meet God involves more and more accurately discerning right from wrong, good from evil, praiseworthy from profane. Godliness is wrapped up in whether our minds and hearts respond rightly to God and rightly to everything else around us. That’s a huge part of the work God does to change and complete us for heaven, and then the new earth.
Written by Marshall Segal
Full article at Desiring God