“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Explanation and Commentary of Philippians 1:6
Paul is encouraging the Philippians by telling them how much he prays for them (Phil 1:3-5) and is now telling them of his confidence in not only their perseverance but in their sanctification. This verse speaks to the process by which we are made like Christ. While the final touches will be put on at the end of time (1 Jn 3:2), we are not to wait around unchanged. Seeing Christ as the end goal, the faithful Christian will seek to grow in godliness until the day he or she dies or Jesus returns.
God is the one who saved us by his great mercy and because of his great love for us. Because of him we were born again (1 Pt 1:3) and made into a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). He will not now leave us on our own but has a plan to sanctify us. That is, God will make us holy and will do in our flesh what he has done in our spirit.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Ro 8:29-30).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Philippians 1:6
#1 “…being confident of this,”
Paul not only has the assurance of his own salvation (Ro 8:15) but also of theirs. He has seen the Philippians church in action and believes them to be the real deal. Furthermore, it is not by their own strength and will that they will run the race to the end, but by the will and goodness of God. Paul is confident because he trusts in God.
#2 “that he who began a good work in you…”
God started this, and he will finish it. God called them (Ro 8:30). God has given them his Spirit as a deposit (Eph 1:14). We find eternal security in the fact that it was God who saved us when we could not save ourselves. It was God who loved us and sent his only Son to die for us (Jn 3:16) when we had no love in us.
#3 “…will carry it on to completion…”
If they are saved, then they are saved to grow. God doesn’t save anyone and then not turn them into the likeness of his Son in one way or another. If you consider yourself a Christian but have no real desire to change and become like Christ, go and cry out to God. You either need to be genuinely saved, or you need him to lift whatever deception from your eyes makes you think anything other than, “To live is Christ” (Phil 1:21).
#4 “…until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This will go on, but not indefinitely. Jesus will return and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed. If you have not put your faith in him for salvation, call out to him and repent. If you have, participate in your training in godliness (1 Tim 4:8). If you belong to God, then you will desire to grow.
John Piper’s Expert Commentary on Philippians 1:6
Bible Study with Commentary on Philippians 1:6
A 9 Minute Expert Overview of Philippians
Biblical Translations of Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
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.
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.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.