Confidence in the work of Christ
Category : General
Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
“Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe east off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness. Direct me, I pray you, to a star, a sun, a satellite–nay, I will challenge you on lower ground: point me out a plant, an emmet, a grain of dust that hath about it any semblance of incompleteness. All that man completes, let him polish as he may, when it is put under the microscope, is but roughly finished, because man has only reached a certain stage, and cannot get beyond it; it is perfection to his feeble optics, but it is not absolute perfection. But all God’s works are finished with wondrous care; He as accurately fashions the dust of a butterfly’s wing, as those mighty orbs that gladden the silent night.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)
M. Boice flatly declared that this verse is one “of the three greatest in the Bible,” teaching the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints. This student, however, fails to find any suggestion of such a doctrine in this passage. It should be noted here that Paul’s confidence was not in the Philippians but in God. It was the conduct of those Philippians up to that point which inspired Paul with confidence concerning their ultimate destiny.
There is one condition for this confidence, a condition on which St. Paul was always insisting, and that absolute trust in the love, the power, and the faithfulness of God. This is strong language. It means to be fully and firmly persuaded or convinced. It means here that Paul was entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. It is the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject.
“That he which hath begun a good work in you.” The “good work” here referred to, can be no other than religion, or true piety. This is called the work of God; the work of the Lord; or the work of Christ; John 6:29; compare 1 Corinthians 15:58; 16:10; Philippians 2:30. Paul affirms here that that work was begun by God. It was not by their own agency or will; compare the notes on John 1:13. It was on the fact that it was begun by God, that he based his firm conviction that it would be permanent. Had it been the agency of man, he would have had no such conviction, for nothing that man does today can lay the foundation of a certain conviction that he will do the same thing tomorrow. If the perseverance of the Christian depended wholly on himself, therefore, there could be no sure evidence that he would ever reach heaven.
Let us always remember that so long as we are in this world the work is incomplete. For the development of a soul in Christ’s likeness time is necessary. “First the blade,” etc. Some are discouraged because they cannot see the full corn at once. If it is time for the full corn, however, do not be satisfied with the ear or blade. It is the indolent man who thinks he has only to believe once for all. We must concur in God’s work as it advances from stage to stage until it is completed in the day of Jesus Christ. Growth proceeds slowly if it is to endure. Mushrooms spring up in the night but they soon decay. So, let us not be weary in doing good for in due season all will be rewarded.
Have a great and God filled day!