For I am confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
As I read this verse, I can observe doctrinal and practical implications for believers at Philippi during that time and for us modern-day believers.
For the doctrinal side, I can observe that it talks about aspects of salvation – salvation past, salvation present, and salvation future. The past and the future aspects of salvation are one-time events-they are instantaneous. The phrase “begun a good work in you” refers to salvation past, and “will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” refers to what this salvation will bring. Apparently, the present aspect of salvation is not visible here but sure implied in the surrounding context. The present aspect of salvation is not an instantaneous event but a process. It is the process of living our Christian life from when we’re saved to the culmination of our life here on earth or at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So the critical question is what we will do while awaiting the culmination of our salvation experience. Paul gave us a tip from the prior verses of verse 6. Paul thanked God every time he remembered the Philippian believers in his prayers, and thanks for what? They got saved for their participation in the gospel when he wrote this letter. He further said in the second part of verse 7, “Both in my imprisonment and the defense of the gospel, you are all partakers of grace with me.” Their participation gives Paul joy – seeing the gospel advance even in his difficult predicament.
I believe that Paul gave us a simple encouragement here while waiting for the third aspect of our salvation to take place. Like the Philippian believers of his time, he wants us to participate in building the kingdom of God through the Gospel-the Good News of Salvation. Participation is one of our main thrusts as a church and individual believer of Christ. We are to continue advancing the gospel’s cause in our generation.
The crucial question now is, what hinders you, like the modern-day believers, from participating? I can list many factors that contribute to that, but I will leave that to you and the individual readers of this devotion because whoever you are, or the reader is –you or they know the factors that affect them personally. You have the option to deal with that right now.
I pray that our generation’s believers will indeed become thoughtful participants in advancing the precious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what it will cost.