Philippians 1:6-8

In Philippians 1:6-8 Paul reminds the church of one of the greatest promises in all of scripture – God’s not done with us yet! “And 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.” Because this good work was begun, Paul was confident of its completion. God is a worker who completes His works. Spurgeon wrote “Where is there an instance of God’s beginning any work and leaving it incomplete? Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe cast off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness.”

We can depend on God to finish what He started in each of us when we received Christ as Savior and Lord. This work in the believer will not be finally complete until the day of Jesus Christ, which in context has the idea of the second coming of Jesus and our resurrection with Him. Spurgeon explains  “Holy Scripture does not regard a man as perfect when the soul is perfected, it regards his body as being a part of himself; and as the body will not rise again from the grave till the coming of the Lord Jesus, when we shall be revealed in the perfection of our manhood, even as he will be revealed, that day of the second coming is set as the day of the finished work which God hath begun.”

Paul is extremely grateful for the Philippians. His thankfulness, joy, and desire to pray for the Philippians was right because they stood beside him in his trials for the gospel, and they received the same grace he did. “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” Paul was not only a smart guy, but he was also a man with a great heart, and the Philippian Christians were in his heart. They had stood with him while in prison but more importantly as a minister of the gospel.

Paul could even call God as his witness regarding his deep affection for them. He literally loved the people of Philippi and yearned for them. “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Adam Clarke paraphrased Paul’s idea here: “I call God to witness that I have the strongest affection for you, and that I love you with that same kind of tender concern with which Christ loved the world when he gave himself for it.” Paul was a leader at the top of the pack, yet he was willing to be transparent with his love and affection for those who stood with him and empowered his work for the gospel.

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