Until It Is Complete

Until It Is Complete

This article is part two of a three-part collection reflecting on your pastors’ favorite verses in the book of Philippians. Throughout most of 2019, we will continue our sermon series on this beloved epistle. Come join us Sunday as we continue to learn and worship together.

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. (Philippians 1:6)

Philippians is like discovering a treasure chest. You open it and find that it has more costly jewels than you could have ever imagined. There are so many radiating truths that it’s really hard to choose a favorite verse, but the one that has ended up most meaningful to me is Philippians 1:6. That’s not just the case for me. It ranks up there for a lot of people and for good reason! 

Consider these words from Paul. “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.”

This is one of the richest statements that you can make about a local church and the individual believers who make up that church. It’s a joyful expression of hope and confidence in spite of very real struggles and obvious warts. It’s the panorama of theology packed into this short sentence that causes it to shine!

These few words bring God’s entire work of salvation in the person of Jesus Christ into view. Paul remembers the initiating grace that he saw when the Holy Spirit directed him to Philippi. He can still picture the people’s powerful response to the Gospel.

God himself was at work in this church.

He took what had happened outside of them and worked it out in their midst. And the same is true for all of us who are looking to Christ for salvation. God has begun a good work in our lives and in our churches! 

What may be most striking is that the main verb here is future tense. Paul isn’t denying that we have a long way to go, but here we find this gloriously assuring truth —Jesus Christ cannot fail! 

In his overflowing mercy, he has committed himself to saving us and building us together. Nothing is going to be lacking in his magnificent work! From the first day to the final, his work cannot be thwarted. And it’s to that wonderful truth that I continually return.

Our Savior never starts something he will not finish.

What a joy to remember on my worst day! What a delight to assure others in the midst of their doubts and trials! What a treasure to share as his church! To him be the glory, beginning to end!