Philippians 2:13
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

King James Bible
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Darby Bible Translation
for it is God who works in you both the willing and the working according to his good pleasure.

World English Bible
For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.

Young's Literal Translation
for God it is who is working in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For it is God that worketh in you - This is given as a reason for making an effort to be saved, or for working out our salvation. It is often thought to be the very reverse, and people often feel that if God works "in us to will and to do," there can be no need of our making an effort, and that there would be no use in it. If God does all the work, say they, why should we not patiently sit still, and wait until He puts forth His power and accomplishes in us what He wills? It is of importance, therefore, to understand what this declaration of the apostle means, in order to see whether this objection is valid, or whether the fact that God "works in us" is to be regarded as a reason why we should make no effort. The word rendered "worketh" - ἐνεργῶν energōn - working - is from a verb meaning to work, to be active to produce effect - and is that from which we have derived the word "energetic." The meaning is, that God "produces a certain effect in us;" he exerts such an influence over us as to lead to a certain result in our minds - to wit, "to will and to do." Nothing is said of the mode in which this is done, and probably this cannot be understood by us here; compare John 3:8. In regard to the divine agency here referred to, however, certain things, though of a negative character, are clear:

(1) It is not God who acts for us. He leads us to "will and to do." It is not said that he wills and does for us, and it cannot be. It is man that "wills and does" - though God so influences him that he does it.

(2) he does not compel or force us against our will. He leads us to will as well as to do. The will cannot be forced; and the meaning here must be that God exerts such an influence as to make us willing to obey Him; compare Psalm 110:3.

(3) it is not a physical force, but it must be a moral influence. A physical power cannot act on the will. You may chain a man, incarcerate him in the deepest dungeon, starve him, scourge him, apply red-hot pincers to his flesh, or place on him the thumb-screw, but the will is still free. You cannot bend that or control it, or make him believe otherwise than as he chooses to believe. The declaration here, therefore, cannot mean that God compels us, or that we are anything else but free agents still, though He "works in us to will and to do." It must mean merely that he exerts such an influence as to secure this result.

To will and to do of his good pleasure - Not to will and to do everything, but "His good pleasure." The extent of the divine agency here referred to, is limited to that, and no man should adduce this passage to prove that God "works" in him to lead him to commit sin. This passage teaches no such doctrine. It refers here to Christians, and means that he works in their hearts that which is agreeable to him, or leads them to "will and to do" that which is in accordance with his own will. The word rendered "good pleasure" - εὐδοκία eudokia - means "delight, good-will, favor;" then "good pleasure, purpose, will;" see Ephesians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Here it means that which would be agreeable to him; and the idea is, that he exerts such an influence as to lead people to will and to do that which is in accordance with his will. Paul regarded this fact as a reason why we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is with that view that he urges it, and not with any idea that it will embarrass our efforts, or be a hindrance to us in seeking salvation. The question then is, how this fact can be a motive to us to make an effort? In regard to this we may observe:

(1) That the work of our salvation is such that we need help, and such help as God only can impart. We need it to enable us to overcome our sins; to give us such a view of them as to produce true penitence; to break away from our evil companions; to give up our plans of evil, and to resolve to lead different lives. We need help that our minds may be enlightened; that we may be led in the way of truth; that we may be saved from the danger of error, and that we may not be suffered to fall back into the ways of transgression. Such help we should welcome from any quarter; and any assistance furnished on these points will not interfere with our freedom.

(2) the influence which God exerts on the mind is in the way of help or aid. What He does will not embarrass or hinder us. It will prevent no effort which we make to be saved; it will throw no hindrance or obstacle in the way. When we speak of Gods working "in us to will and to do," people often seem to suppose that His agency will hinder us, or throw some obstacle in our way, or exert some evil influence on our minds, or make it more difficult for us to work out our salvation than it would be without His agency. But this cannot be. We may be sure that all the influence which God exerts over our minds, will be to aid us in the work of salvation, not to embarrass us; will be to enable us to overcome our spiritual enemies and our sins, and not to put additional weapons into their hands or to confer on them new power. Why should people ever dread the influence of God on their hearts, as if he would hinder their efforts for their own good?

(3) the fact that God works is an encouragement for us to work. When a man is about to set out a peach or an apple tree, it is an encouragement for him to reflect that the agency of God is around him, and that he can cause the tree to produce blossoms, and leaves, and fruit. When he is about to plow and sow his farm, it is an encouragement, not a hindrance, to reflect that God works, and that he can quicken the grain that is sown, and produce an abundant harvest. What encouragement of a higher order can man ask? And what farmer is afraid of the agency of God in the case, or supposes that the fact that God exerts an agency is a reason why he should not plow and plant his field, or set out his orchard? Poor encouragement would a man have in these things if God did not exert any agency in the world, and could not be expected to make the tree grow or to cause the grain to spring up; and equally poor would be all the encouragement in religion without his aid.

Philippians 2:13 Parallel Commentaries

Library
April 28. "For it is God which Worketh in You" (Phil. Ii. 13).
"For it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13). Sanctification is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fruit of the Spirit, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the prepared inheritance of all who enter in, the greatest obtainment of faith, not the attainment of works. It is divine holiness, not human self-improvement, nor perfection. It is the inflow into man's being of the life and purity of the infinite, eternal and Holy One, bringing His own perfection and working out His own will. How easy, how
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 28. "He Humbled Himself" (Phil. Ii. 8).
"He humbled Himself" (Phil. ii. 8). One of the hardest things for a lofty and superior nature is to be under authority, to renounce his own will, and to take a place of subjection. But Christ took upon Him the form of a servant, gave up His independence, His right to please Himself, His liberty of choice, and after having from eternal ages known only to command, gave Himself up only to obey. I have seen occasionally the man who was once a wealthy employer a clerk in the same store. It was not an
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Ascent of Jesus
'Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; 10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'--PHIL. ii. 9-11 (R.V.). 'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,' said Jesus. He is Himself the great example of that law. The Apostle here goes on to complete his picture of the Lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

July the Fourth Emptying Oneself
"He emptied Himself." --PHILIPPIANS ii. 1-11. In Mr. Silvester Horne's garden a very suggestive scene was one day to be witnessed. A cricketer of world-wide renown was playing a game with Mr. Horne's little four-year-old son! And the fierce bowler "emptied himself," and served such gentle, dainty little balls that the tiny man at the wickets was not in the least degree afraid! And the Lord of glory "emptied Himself," fashioning Himself to our "low estate," and in His unspeakably gentle approaches
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Cross References
2 Chronicles 30:12
The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD.

Job 33:29
"Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men,

Luke 2:14
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

Romans 12:3
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

1 Corinthians 12:6
There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

Ephesians 1:5
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

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