Paul Apostle, a die-hard follower of Christ with a great affection and passion for believers. His addiction to the gospel of Christ and the kingdom of God is unmatchable.
He declares in Romans 1 verse 16,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Paul will not just minister the gospel to people but will also follow up with letters and prayers until the point of establishment. His spiritual welfare is commendable.
He said in Galatians 4 verse 19,
“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.”
Paul affirms his great confidence in the Christian maturity of the Philippians. This confidence according to Paul is not only in the perseverance of the Christian but also in their righteousness. It is important to understand that holiness is a race.
This is what some believers refer to as the Christian race. The race does not end here on earth. Heaven is the destination.
Everything begins from the day you accept Christ, through your Christian walk, and ends on the second coming of Jesus or when the person dies.
2 Corinthians 7 verse 1 says,
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
You cannot run the race alone. That is why Paul encouraged and also pray for the people.
Every born-again Christian is being conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ
Remember what the scripture says in Romans 8 verses 29 to 30 says,
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
All through the holy bible, in the old testament and new testament, God is interested in the souls of men. He has good will for believers. His desire is for his children to be transformed from one state of glory to another higher level of glory.
Let’s take a deep dive to reveal the meaning of this scripture.
Who wrote Philippians 1:6 and when was it written?
Philippians 1:6 was authored by Apostle Paul. Paul addressed this chapter to the Christians in Philippi. It was written between mid-50s to early 60 AD.
What is the context of Philippians 1?
The context of Philippians 1 talks about Paul’s gratitude for the fellowship of the Philippian Saints.
This entire book of Philippians is often called the prison epistle and other books that Apostle Paul wrote while in prison. Other books are Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.
He commenced his writing with greetings and honour to the leaders and members of the church.
Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Verses 1 and 2)
Philippi was known to be the first place in Europe where Paul formally preached the gospel and established a branch of the Church. Paul’s primary purpose in writing this epistle was to express gratitude for the great love and financial support of the saints in Philippi during his second missionary journey and his imprisonment in Rome.
Apostle Paul thanked God upon every remembrance of the Philippians and mentions how he always pray for their gospel fellowship. He expressed his total confidence in their relationship with God but deem it necessary to reach out to show appreciation for how they have also partnered with him.
Just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. (Verses 7 and 8)
Paul encouraged them to continue to grow in holy love for one another and God, with more knowledge and discernment that they may approve of the things that are excellent and be sincere without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The chapter further reveals how Paul’s imprisonment has helped the preaching of the gospel. Everyone around him saw the hand of God, even the palace guards recognized his faith.
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Verses 12 to 14)
God turned everything good for him. This increases the confidence of Christians around him to preach the gospel when they saw the boldness of Paul. Some of those who spread the gospel did so for false motives but, in so doing, the gospel of Christ keeps spreading.
Paul expresses his confidence in his suffering state. He knew that the Lord is in control of all events and trusted God that he shall never be put to shame.
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Verses 19 and 20)
He also expressed his passion for Christ over the desires of his body in verses 21 to 24.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
The chapter concluded with a piece of candid advice from Paul. He admonished them in a strong language to let their actions be worthy of the gospel of Christ so, whether he is with them or not,
he may hear good report concerning them that they are standing fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the gospel ministry, and not in any way terrified by their adversaries, which is to others a proof of perdition, but to them of salvation, and that from God.
What is the message of Philippians 1:6?
The message of Philippians 1:6 teaches that we need the help of God in our walk with him.
Believers are helpless without the help of God. This help is made available to us by the Holy Spirit. Our journey of life cannot be smooth without the help of the Holy Ghost.
Jesus knew this and admonished us to receive and embrace him.
John 16 verses 7 to 11 says,
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
God, who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ but he does this perfectly by his Spirit.
According to Paul in Romans 8 verse 13,
If you live according to the flesh you will die; but if you live by the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
The Holy Spirit is your best companion if you want to continue to enjoy the works of God.
“Being confident of this very thing,” meaning
“Being confident of this very thing,” means Paul had a belief about the good standing of Philippian saints.
He was so certain without any doubt in his heart. He knew the Philippians and what they can do. Paul’s confidence is not only in who the Philippians are but in God whom they serve.
He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
For by strength no man shall prevail. (1 Samuel 2 verse 9)
“that He who has begun a good work in you” meaning
“that He who has begun a good work in you,” means God will perfect his good works.
Our God is perfect. He does not get stuck in his ways. God began the good work in us from the point of salvation. His intention is for us to inherit his kingdom.
1 Timothy 2 verse 4 says,
“Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
He wants all men to be saved. He sacrificed his only begotten son to die for us,
He began the work, why won’t he continue? He will surely finish it.
“Will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” meaning
“Will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” means God will see his children through to the end of time.
God is a merciful God. He is a lover of souls. He wants as many as possible to make heaven.
Jesus said in John 14 verses 2 to 4,
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
God will not waste his resources. The mansions are there for people to inhabit. He will see us till the end of time.
Psalm 138 verse 8,
“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
I have good news for you, God is ever ready, make yourself available. He is a faithful God.
What is the difference in biblical translations Philippians 1:6 (NKJV, KJV, NIV & ESV)?
Philippians 1:6 NKJV biblical translation “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;”
Philippians 1:6 KJV biblical translation “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:”
Philippians 1:6 NIV biblical translation “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.”
Philippians 1:6 ESV biblical translation “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.”
There is no difference between NKJV and KJV translations. The 2 translations are written almost the same way.
Complete in NKJV is replaced by Perform in KJV. The two words mean to achieve and can be used interchangeably.
In the same way, there is no difference between NIV and ESV translations.
Being confident of this, in NIV is replaced by And I am sure of this, in ESV. The two phrases mean certainty.
The four translations have the same meaning.
How do I apply Philippians 1:6 to my life?
Applying Philippians 1:6 to my life is to acknowledge God as the man behind my salvation.
The grace of God is a vital factor in the salvation of our souls. We are saved by grace, it is also by grace that our spiritual nature is sustained in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2 verses 8 to 10,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We are God’s handwork, he knows how to mold us at every point in time.
He is our eternal security for spiritual growth and the man behind all our spiritual good.
If your Christian life is not acceptable on the day of judgment, you cannot have eternal life.
Submit yourself to him, he will see you through to the end.
What is Philippians 1:6 prayer?
Gracious Father, thank You for the salvation of my soul. I acknowledge you as the one that sustained me in my spiritual life. By Your Spirit, help me to live for you and you alone, in Jesus’s name. AMEN
Paul gave a good commendation about the good deeds of the Philippians. What can people say about you? This is a very important aspect of this article.
Can your friends be confident about your spiritual life?
How is your Christian life?
What good things can people say about you?
Can your Pastor or spiritual leaders stand for you?
How are you standing with God?
Whatever the answer is, you can do better.