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God's Commitment to Complete His Work (Philippians 1:1-11)

Philippians 1:1–11 - 1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

 

What does today’s passage say?

In this opening section, Paul warmly addresses the believers in Philippi, identifying himself and Timothy as devoted followers of Jesus Christ laboring to advance His gospel. The same God who initiated their relationship with Him will continue maturing these believers in faith and Christlike character until the work within them is complete when Jesus returns (vv. 1-2). He expresses sincere thanks to God for their steadfast partnership in ministry from the first day they trusted in Christ (vv. 3-5). With great confidence, Paul declares that the same God who initiated their relationship with Him will continue maturing these believers in faith and Christlike character until the work within them is complete when Jesus returns (vv. 6-8). He prays earnestly that their capacity to biblically discern truth from error would expand. Why? So that they can embrace beliefs and behaviors fully pleasing to God as they await their glorification (vv. 9-11).

 

How can I apply [Philippians 1:1-11] to my life?

Today, Paul begins his letter to the Philippians by identifying himself and Timothy as bondservants of Jesus Christ who are writing to believers in Philippi. His warm greetings hint at the enduring gospel partnership and affection between them. As we study this passage today, we discover that the Philippians model many wonderful qualities worth emulating even centuries later. Their sincere faith and love for other believers can inspire our unity with the body of Christ. Their steadfast hope motivates us to trust God’s commitment to perfect His work in each of His children. And their hunger for spiritual wisdom challenges us to nurture a deeper love for God’s truth in order to honor Him with our lives. Here are some key principles from this passage that we should apply:

1.     Pursue Unity and Partnership in the Gospel with Other Believers (vv. 1-5): Paul begins by identifying himself and Timothy as servants of Jesus Christ, writing to believers in Philippi. There is an important reminder here. Although each of us has a personal and precious relationship with Christ, we are not lone rangers. All true believers are joined together in serving Him. This truth has profound implications. It means we should make every effort to pursue unity, harmony, and partnership with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This unity is not uniformity. It celebrates our diversity within the body of Christ. Each of us has a role to play, gifts to contribute, a part in spreading the gospel message. However, this requires humility. We must be willing to serve alongside all types of people - even those very different from ourselves, valuing their contributions even when they don't look like ours. We must view others as more important than self. This is countercultural! But when Christians unite in gospel mission despite differences, our witness of God's redeeming love holds unmatched power and integrity. Anything that causes dissension or disunity in the body of Christ needs to be avoided (2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:1-6, 1 Peter 3:8).


Food for Thought: What specific actions can you take to nurture gospel partnership with other believers? Are there relationships requiring humility and courage where reconciliation should be biblically pursued?


2.     Be Confident That God Will Complete His Work in You (vv. 6-8): Paul expresses supreme confidence that the same God who initiated a saving relationship with the Philippian believers will continue working in them until Christ's character is fully formed. Our growth in grace does not depend on our shaky memory or fickle devotion. God Himself authors each chapter of our sanctification story with steadfast faithfulness. He lovingly leads us on the lifelong path of being reshaped into the image of Jesus. And when we waver or stumble, He lifts us up again, refusing to abandon His divine project. Our job is not to fret over each tiny step, but to continuously yield our hearts to the Master Sculptor and His wise chisel. Though storms may come, dashing chips of worldly debris against us, we can stand tall in the confidence that God continues molding, sanding, perfecting. He will complete this beautiful work of inward renewal until we fully reflect the character of Christ. What freedom this gives us from performance-based religion! Despite doubts or setbacks, we serve the Lord with hope, keeping our eyes fixed on the Day when transformed hearts give way to seeing Jesus face to face (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, Hebrews 12:1-3; Jude 1:24-25).


Food for Thought: In what areas of your walk with God do you need more confidence in His commitment to complete His work in you? How can this truth help anchor you when doubts or struggles arise?


3.     Love God's Truth So That You Will Know How to Live for Him (vv. 9-11): Paul prays earnestly for the Philippians to grow in knowledge, insight and wisdom. Why? Because understanding divine truth is essential for living a life that honors God. Without steadfast roots in Scripture and the gospel message, we will drift aimlessly, basing choices on emotions or circumstances rather than God's unchanging principles. Therefore, we must nurture an insatiable love for God's Word, mining its riches each day through study, memorization, and meditation. The more we comprehend God's perfect holiness, grace, and truth revealed in Scripture, the more our priorities, choices and actions will align with His glory and goodness. Our outward behavior flows directly from our inward comprehension of who He is. As redeemed children of God, we no longer belong to ourselves. Christ's love compels us to increasingly reflect His character in thoughts, words, and deeds according to His good and pleasing will. Therefore, we must study His word, allowing its piercing truths to spotlight any area of our life that we have not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. When God's Word richly dwells within, our lives will bear fruit that honors Him (Psalm 19:7-14, Psalm 119:9-16, 2 Timothy 3:14-17).


Food for Thought: Are there areas where you act more from assumptions than really knowing and loving God's truth? What specific part of Scripture could you focus on this week?


Paul’s greeting to the Philippian believers highlights key attitudes that should mark our lives in Christ: unity, confidence in God’s sanctifying work, and an insatiable love for His truth. When we walk in humility and gospel partnership with fellow Christians, acknowledging our common mission, we reflect Christ’s heart for oneness within His body. Anchoring our hope in God’s commitment to refine our character until the day we see Jesus face-to-face liberates us from performance-based religion. And nurturing a daily hunger for Scripture renews our minds to make choices aligned with God’s will. May the eternal truths in this passage inspire us to apply these principles in our relationships and priorities.

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would help me to pursue unity and harmony with other believers, valuing our diversity while serving in humility and gospel partnership. Take away any pride or selfishness in my heart that causes dissension. I also pray that You would increase my confidence in Your promise to complete the work of inward renewal You began in my life when I first believed. Forgive me for doubting or trying to control my own growth process. I yield every area of my life and my transformation to Your wise hands. Furthermore, I pray that You would grow my love for Your Word and fill me with spiritual wisdom. Help me to understand Your Word better so that my thoughts, words, and actions increasingly honor You.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

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

 

 

With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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