Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
A Good WorkS. Barnard.Philippians 1:6
Begun, Continued, and Ridded in GodW.F. Adeney Philippians 1:6
Confidence and CompletionS. Martin.Philippians 1:6
Divine WorkmanshipG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:6
Means of Progress in the Divine LifeJ. Daille.Philippians 1:6
Paul's Confidence WasG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:6
Sanctification and PerseveranceJ. Foot, D. D.Philippians 1:6
Spiritual CultureR. Tuck, B. A.Philippians 1:6
The Basis of Paul's ConfidenceJ. Paget, D. D.Philippians 1:6
The Danger and Security of the ChristianC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 1:6
The Day of Jesus ChristG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:6
The Day of Jesus ChristDean Vaughan.Philippians 1:6
The Faithfulness of GodClerical LibraryPhilippians 1:6
The Good Work WithinCongregational Remembrancer., Weekly Pulpit., J. Parker, D. DPhilippians 1:6
The Grounds of the Apostle's ThanksgivingT. Croskery Philippians 1:6
The Perfection of God's WorksC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 1:6
The Permanence and Sacrificial Character of the Work of GraceJ. Hutchinson, D. D.Philippians 1:6
The Perseverance of the SaintsCongregational RemembrancerPhilippians 1:6
The Perseverance of the Saints Does not Supersede Human EffortC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 1:6
The Present DispensationG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:6
The Truest Guarantee of PerseveranceV. Hutton Philippians 1:6
A Cheerful PrisonerFamily ChurchmanPhilippians 1:3-11
Blessed Remembrance and Joyful PrayersWeekly PulpitPhilippians 1:3-11
Christian RemembrancesJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11
Expression of InterestR. Finlayson Philippians 1:3-11
Happy MemoriesG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
My GodG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
Pleasant Memories and Bright HopesR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 1:3-11
Retrospect and ForecastJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 1:3-11
The Apostle's Intercession and AssuranceR.M. Edgar Philippians 1:3-11
The Introduction to the EpistleJ. Daille.Philippians 1:3-11
The True Spirit of PrayerJ. Lyth, D. D., J. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11
Personal ChristianityD. Thomas Philippians 1:6-8
Being confident of this very thing, that he which began a good work in you will perfect it till the day of Christ.

I. THE SUBJECT OF HIS CONFIDENCE. "A good work," regarded:

1. In itself. It is the work of grace or salvation in the human soul.

2. In its development. It has a beginning and an ending. It is God, not man, who begins it; and he who begins it ends it. It is thus a good work,

(1) because it is God's through all its stages;

(2) because it brings good to man, being the restoration of the Divine image in his heart;

(3) because it brings glory to God.

II. THE GROUNDS OF HIS CONFIDENCE. Not in the power of priesthood or sacrament, but in the character and resources of the Worker. He who begins will end it, for he has fixed a day for its completeness - "the very day of Christ." Not the day of death, but the day of Christ, because man does not exist in his completely glorified condition till he stands in the redemption of both body and soul. The grounds of a believer's perseverance are not, therefore, to be found in his own watchfulness or his own strength, but

(1) in the purposes and promises of God,

(2) in the mediation of Christ,

(3) in the constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

III. HOW THIS CONFIDENCE OPERATED IN THE APOSTLE. It did not prevent him from praying for his converts or exhorting them to the use of means for their continuance in grace. It suggests

(1) that we ought to be careful not to abuse assurance; and

(2) that we ought to interest ourselves deeply in each other's spiritual welfare. - T.C.

Being confident of this very thing."

1. The signs are not to be sought in any set methods or patterns by which God is supposed to begin His work of training the soul for Himself. His ways are endless. Some souls have to be smitten: for others a gentle look is enough, e.g., Saul and Zacchaeus.

2. There are certain impressions and effects produced by the preaching of the gospel or by the ways of God in His providence which are sometimes mistaken for signs of a gracious work. The consequences of sin may fill the conscience with remorse, and vows made to begin a new life. A sense of happiness springs up in emotional natures on a very superficial acquaintance with religion and its responsibilities. Nor is the sign found in a head well informed.

3. What then is the sign? Love to God, Christ, man, showing itself in trust and obedience, and goodness.


1. Remember that so long as you are in this world the work is incomplete. For the development of a soul in Christ's likeness time is necessary. "First the blade," etc. Some are discouraged because they cannot see the full corn at once. If it is time for the full corn, however, do not be satisfied with the ear or blade. It is the indolent man who thinks he has only to believe once for all.

2. You must concur in God's work as it advances from stage to stage till it is completed in the day of Jesus Christ. Growth proceeds slowly if it is to endure. Mushrooms spring up in the night but they soon decay.

(R. Tuck, B. A.)



1. As his medium of access to the mind, the heart, the power of God (Ephesians 3:12).

2. As the repository of all his interests (2 Timothy 1:12).

3. As being united to Him by love bonds which neither the mere incidents of life, nor satanic power could sever (Romans 8:38, 39).


1. In the sympathy of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:14, 15; 2 Corinthians 2:3).

2. In the steadfastness of the Galatians in Christianity (Galatians 5:10).

3. In the obedience of the Thessalonians to his teaching (2 Thessalonians 3:4).

4. In the purity and intelligence of the Romans (Romans 15:14).

5. In the final perfectness of the Philippians.


(G. G. Ballard.)


1. That the work of salvation in this people would be perfected. They were running a race, and he was confident that they would receive the prize. They were the workmanship of the Divine redeeming hand; Paul was confident that the work would not be forsaken by the Workman. That God would perfect this work. "It is God that worketh in you." Paul knew that his own influence was nothing, except as it was the medium and the vehicle of the influence of God.

2. That the work would be finished in the day of the Lord. In that day every work will be tried as by fire. God's work in this people would appear then to be perfected. A sublime persuasion, this! To stand on some moorland and see some young oaks planted, and feel quite confident that they would grow to perfection; to visit a dockyard slip, and to see the timbers of the keel of a first-rate man-of-war laid down, and to feel confident that she would answer every trial of her strength, until she had rendered full service to the nation; to be present at some important public undertaking, and to feel sure that it would be noble, and prosperous, and of national benefit; to hear the birth cry of a human being, and to feel confident that its path from the cradle to the sepulchre would be that shining brighter and brighter unto perfect day, are all glorious positions; but they cannot be compared, so far as true greatness and moral grandeur are concerned, with the position of Paul here. The sublimity of this persuasion is largely connected with the love of Paul's heart. The multitude are thoughtless, indifferent, and careless about each other, or they are envious and malicious. But this is true, sincere, pure Christian love, which writes, "Being confident of this very thing."


1. On the character and resources of the Worker. It does not rest on the Church. Not because Church polity is all right, because you are thoroughly orthodox, nor because your modes of worship are just what they ought to be. The foundation of his confidence was God in Christ. Men fail in work by loss of means and of power, by change of purpose, by their dependence upon others, and by reason of death. But it is not thus with the Creator.

2. On the nature and quality of the work about which he is assured. The work is remedial to the creature, and supremely honourable to the redeeming God.

3. On the fact that the commencement of this work was by God Himself. The beginning is the pledge of the consummation. Even a wise man does nothing at random.

4. On the fact that a day is fixed for exhibiting this work in all its completeness. The day of Christ, without redemption, would indeed be a dark day.

5. He happens to blend with all this his own experience of the faithfulness and wealth of the redeeming God — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


1. It did not prevent Paul praying for these people.

2. It gave fervency and gladness to his intercessions.

3. It did not keep Paul from exhorting the people and directing them to the use of means. Conclusion: Cherish such confidence concerning yourselves and each other, but be devoutly careful not to abuse it.

(S. Martin.)

I. ITS HIGHEST SPHERE — man (Ephesians 2:10).

II. ITS CHOSEN INSTRUMENTALITY — holy men (1 Corinthians 4:9).

III. ITS MODEL — Divine perfectness (Matthew 5:48).

IV. ITS LAW OF ACCOMPLISHMENT — gradual but certain progression — "begun, perform."

V. ITS GUARANTEE OF COMPLETION — God's will. His willingness is —

1. Revealed in His word.

2. Embodied in Christ the Foundation.

3. Ratified by experience.

4. Plighted to us in the earnest of the Spirit.

(G. G. Ballard.)


1. Its nature. A new creation (Ephesians 2:10), without which we have neither will nor power to perform good works (Philippians 2:13).

2. Its property. It is a good work because —

(1)It is begun by a good God (Psalm 25:8).

(2)It is wrought out for a good purpose (Colossians 1:12).

(3)It is performed with a good end in view (Romans 8:30; Hebrews 12:14).


1. The perfections of God's works (Deuteronomy 32:4) in creation, providence, and grace.

2. The atonement of Christ (John 10:15).

3. The Christian's union to Christ (John 14:19).

4. The earnest of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22).

5. The nature of the life Christ gives (John 10:28).

6. The intercession of Christ (Hebrews 7:29; John 11:42; John 17:24).

(S. Barnard.)

Congregational Remembrancer., Weekly Pulpit., J. Parker, D. D.

1. It is good. Why? Because —(1) God the best of beings is the author of it. He is the author of the wisdom that designed it; the influence which begins, continues, and completes it; the holiness which is its pattern; the love which it displays; the means whereby it is performed.(2) Its effects are good.(a) In respect of the soul that is the subject of it, which passes from death unto life, from sin to holiness, etc.(b) In respect to families. When this good work is begun in the hearts of parents religion with all its pleasantness and peace dwells in the house, and God commands His blessing.(c) Upon ministers, who thereby are made not ashamed of the gospel.(d) Upon the Church, whose increase and prosperity is the edification and comfort of individual believers.(e) To the world. Every convert exercises, like salt, a purifying and preserving influence.(f) On heaven itself (Luke 15:10).(3) Its end and completion are good. The soul is born for glory.

2. It is a work.(1) It is primarily and chiefly the operation of the Holy Spirit. He removes all obstacles from the heart, and gives the truth free course over the inner man.(2) It is begun and carried on by means of the Word, which is the power of God unto salvation.(3) All the faculties of the soul which is the subject of it are brought into lively and diligent exercise: serious thought, anxious inquiry, restless desire, fervent prayer, repentance, faith, love.

II. ITS IMPORTANT SITUATION — "in you." Not only in the head but in the heart.

1. It is evident that it is an inward work from the many figures which denote it — temple; inner man; good seed.

2. How does it exist then?

(1)As light in the mind.

(2)As love shed abroad in the heart.

(3)As peace in the conscience.Conclusion:

1. This inward religion will be evidenced by corresponding fruits without.

2. You in whom this good work is be thankful, for "by the grace of God you are what you are." Be anxious, watchful, prayerful, too, that it may go on.

3. You in whom it is begun, but fear that it is not, compare what your feelings and desires are with what they were.

4. You who think it is within you, but whose life proves that it is not, fear and tremble.

5. You who show no desire for it — if there is not a good work in you, there is an evil work there, evil in its origin, effects, end. Contemplate your danger.

(Congregational Remembrancer.)

I. A WONDERFUL FACT. "He who began the work."

1. The work is Divine. No part of God's work bears so distinctly the signs of divinity (James 1:18). Human agency is the channel.

2. The work is gracious. Wisdom is here and power, but goodness is a special feature. God's compassion in the gospel is a power to make us good. To make men wise, rich, happy, healthy, is a great work — but to make them good is better (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

3. The work is progressive. The stages of spiritual life are like those of physical life advancing towards manhood.


1. The resources of God are inexhaustible (Isaiah 46:9-10).

2. The faithfulness of God is unfailing (Hosea 2:20).

3. Perfection is God's end in everything.

(Weekly Pulpit.)Whether this good work relates entirely to the special act of beneficence which had called forth this Epistle may be fairly disputed. Taken upon this narrow ground the apostle's joy would be but the refinement of selfishness. Rather he lays down a great principle respecting the Divine method of working, viz., to begin is to finish, and that principle, wide enough to encompass the universe, will also comprehend every detail of Christian service.

I. GOD WORKS BY A PLAN — to prepare manhood for the final day — a period of time, or a perfection of development; the "day" of death, of judgment, or of the completeness of Christian manhood.

II. GOD IS NOT FICKLE IN THE PROSECUTION OF HIS PURPOSES. He begins not that He may conduct an experiment, but that He may perform a design.

III. GOD HAS SO REVEALED HIMSELF in the education of the individual and the training of society AS TO JUSTIFY "THE MOST EMPHATIC EXPRESSION OF "CONFIDENCE" ON THE PART OF HIS CHURCH. The past fortells the future. When the world was young it needed Elijahs, Ezekiels, and Daniels; but the richer the world becomes in history the louder and sweeter will be its tone of confidence. God cannot publish any amended edition of Himself. You may therefore make the past the source of the widest inferences.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Congregational Remembrancer.
The passage suggests —


1. In opposition to the mere profession of orthodox sentiments and opinions. The truth may be held in unrighteousness. Christ is not only set forth a propitiation before His people, but is made unto them "wisdom," etc. The gospel must be received as well as believed.

2. In opposition to a bare attendance upon the prescribed duties of religion. This will indeed follow but only as a means, not as an end.


1. It has respect to the immortal soul.

2. It qualifies for fellowship with God the chief good.

3. It is productive of good fruits.

4. Its fruition is glory.

III. THAT IT IS THE PROVINCE OF GOD TO BEGIN THIS WORK. Every other cause is inadequate.


1. He cannot be at a loss to accomplish the work He has commenced. As it is not more difficult to create than to uphold, so it is as easy for Him to communicate great supplies of grace as it was to bestow it at the first.

2. To suppose otherwise would be altogether inconsistent with His purposes of grace and love.

3. But God will perfect His work by the use of means.

(1)Secret prayer.

(2)Perusal of His Word.Hence perseverance is not only a privilege but a duty.


(Congregational Remembrancer.)

Sanctification, unlike the act of justification, is a work of the Holy Spirit, which will not be completed till the soul is perfected in glory. It is the gradual transformation of the renovated but imperfect heart continued until this corruptible shall put on incorruption.


1. A gradual purification of our nature. Regeneration is the first act, but by mournful experience Paul knew, and we know, that the remains of depravity are left behind. These it is the work of sanctification to remove.(1) It clarifies the sight of believers, enabling them more distinctly to discern Divine things.(2) It purges the conscience, causing it to pronounce more correctly on the relations of the conduct to the law and to the gospel.(3) It brings to light the lines of the Divine image already engraven on the heart.

2. A correspondent purification of our lives so that our obedience gradually approaches nearer the standard of holiness (Ephesians 2:10).(1) Evil propensities are diminished.(2) The graces produced by regeneration are strengthened: Faith, humility, love.


1. God commands it.

2. The love of Christ urges it.

3. We can only be prepared for glory by it.

4. It alone will enable us to glorify God.

(J. Foot, D. D.)

Man has his day; Christ shall have His. When —

1. His toil and suffering shall be remunerated.

2. His government be vindicated.

3. His glory be revealed.

4. All men be brought into closest relations with Him.

5. His kingship receive universal recognition on whose head are many crowns.That day is —

(1)The goal of the human race.

(2)The terminus of history.

(3)The fulness of time. For it Paul longed, watched, waited, lived.

(G. G. Ballard.)


II.Is INCOMPLETE in its results as yet.

III.Is CULMINATIVE to a higher and final glory.




VII.IS ACCUMULATIVE in its events TOWARDS, and formative of, a FUTURE TIME.Former dispensations gradually opened the path of man from the guilt of Eden to the altar of atonement: this dispensation shall terminate in dissipating the shame of the cross by the glory of the Redeemer's kingdom.

(G. G. Ballard.)

The dangers which attend the spiritual life are of the most appalling character. The life of a Christian is a series of miracles. See a spark living in mid ocean, see a stone hanging in the air, see health blooming in a lazar house, and the snow-white swan among rivers of filth, and you behold an image of the Christian life. The new nature is kept alive between the jaws of death, preserved by the power of God from instant destruction; by no power less than Divine could its existence be continued. When the instructed Christian sees his surroundings, he finds himself to be like a defenceless dove flying to her nest, while against her tens of thousands of arrows are levelled. The Christian life is like that dove's anxious flight, as it threads its way between the death-bearing shafts of the enemy, and by constant miracle escapes unhurt. The enlightened Christian sees himself to be like a traveller, standing on the narrow summit of a lofty ridge; on the right hand and on the left are gulfs unfathomable, yawning for his destruction; if it were not that by Divine grace his feet are made like hinds' feet, so that he is able to stand upon his high places, he would long ere this have fallen to his eternal destruction.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Clerical Library.
Grandly did the old Scottish believer, of whom Dr. Brown tells us in his "Horae Subsecivae," respond to the challenge of her pastor regarding the ground of her confidence. Janet, said the minister, "what would you say, if after all He has done for you, God should let you drop into hell?" "E'en's (even as) He likes," answered Janet. "If He does, He'll lose mair than I'll do." At first sight Janet's reply looks irreverent, if not something worse. As we contemplate it, however, its sublimity grows upon us. Like the Psalmist she could say, "I on Thy Word rely" (Psalm 119:114, metrical version). If His Word were broken, if His faithfulness should fail, if that foundation could be destroyed, truly He would lose more than His trusting child.

(Clerical Library.)

Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe east off from the Great Potter's wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness. Direct me, I pray you, to a star, a sun, a satellite — nay, I will challenge you on lower ground: point me out a plant, an emmet, a grain of dust that hath about it any semblance of incompleteness. All that man completes, let him polish as he may, when it is put under the microscope, is but roughly finished, because man has only reached a certain stage, and cannot get beyond it; it is perfection to his feeble optics, but it is not absolute perfection. But all God's works are finished with wondrous care; He as accurately fashions the dust of a butterfly's wing, as those mighty orbs that gladden the silent night.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

He had one great historical instance to commend his theological inference. For he knew, with all the depth and intensity of a late and reluctant realization, that the whole history of his own people had been one vast illustration of the truth on which he relied. In them, far back, in the very childhood of the race, God had begun a good work: patriarchs, psalmists, prophets had by faith been confident that He would perform it: and He had actually performed it until the day of Jesus Christ, until His first coming. From the call of Abraham to the Incarnation one purpose had been steadfast, one work had moved on a line determined from the beginning — all that vast period, with its surprises and disasters, its restless shirtings, its immeasurable contrasts, had been spanned by one dominant conception — through all that seemed so disorderly and aimless there had sped the evolution of one supreme design — from first to last one thought held good, one will pressed on — and He who came at last could look back across the centuries to that majestic, solitary form upon the far-distant watch-tower, and could declare — "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it and was glad."

(J. Paget, D. D.)

Man is not formed in his infancy, but passes through several stages which bring him gradually to perfection; one polishes his memory, another sharpens his mind; this strengthens his judgment, and that embellishes his manners; so is it with the work of piety. For this new man who must be brought to perfection, can only be so by various degrees. He has his infancy before he attains his riper years. As in the schools of painters they first draw the figures with the pencil, and then add the colouring, giving them at different sittings and with much labour the last gloss of perfection, which in the studies of those which they adorn steals the senses of the beholders; so in the school of God, the faithful are begun and the work sketched, and then they are polished and finished. Here this work is well begun; but it can only be finished in heaven. We are the pencil sketch of the work of God to which He daily adds some touch; but the last finishing stroke we shall not receive till the great day of the Lord.

(J. Daille.)

If any of you should be well assured that, in a certain line of business, you would make a vast sum of money, would that confidence lead you to refuse that business, would it lead you to lie in bed all day, or to desert your post altogether? No, the assurance that you would be diligent and would prosper would make you diligent. I will borrow a metaphor from the revelries of the season, such as Paul aforetime borrowed from the games of Greece — if any rider at the races should be confident that he was destined to win, would that make him slacken speed? Napoleon believed himself to be the child of destiny, did that freeze his energies? To show you that the certainty of a thing does not hinder a man from striving after it, but rather quickens him, I will give you an anecdote of myself: it happened to me when I was but a child of some ten years of age, or less. Mr. Richard Knill, of happy and glorious memory, an earnest worker for Christ, felt moved, I know not why, to take me on his knee, at my grandfather's house, and to utter words like these, which were treasured up by the family, and by myself especially, "This child," said he, "will preach the gospel, and he will preach it to the largest congregations of our times." I believed his prophecy, and my standing here today is partly occasioned by such belief. It did not hinder me in my diligence in seeking to. educate myself because I believed I was destined to preach the gospel to large congregations; not at all, but the prophecy helped forward its own fulfilment; and I prayed, and sought, and strove, always having this Star of Bethlehem before me, that the day should come when I should preach the gospel. Even so the belief that we shall one day be perfect, never hinders any true believer from diligence, but is the highest possible incentive to make a man struggle with the corruptions of the flesh, and seek to persevere according to God's promise.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

These words, found linked together more than once in Pauline usage, e.g., 2 Corinthians 8:6, Galatians 3:3, have probably a sacrificial import. They are used in describing religious ceremonials, and especially the ritual of sacrifice. The metaphor then may be this: just as a sacrifice, when once it is solemnly inaugurated, is carried through with all the appropriate rites to its completion, so every work of grace in the believer's heart, being not only God's work, but a work which is an offering presented unto Him, will be carried on to its proper consummation. Nothing will be allowed to come in the way, so as to render it a half-finished, a mutilated, an imperfect thing. Begun, it must be "performed." Paul is now writing to a Christian community composed for the most part of those who had once been heathen; his language therefore purposely takes appropriate colouring from their former but now forsaken rites. There is, he would say, a sacrifice carried on within their souls, a work of grace, a work shown in Christian liberality, which God will not permit to remain mutilated and incomplete. This explanation is all the more probable in view of a similar figure found in Philippians 2:17. There substantially the same metaphor appears distinctly on the surface, which at least lies only hidden here. It reminds us of the infinite solemnity belonging to every good work wrought within us and wrought by us. It is "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God." But the apostle directs the thought forward to the final completion of this service, "until the day of Jesus Christ."

(J. Hutchinson, D. D.)

That is the goal of our race. That is the point to which every Christian eye is directed. Every other day of our lives, every other day of the world's existence, is a day; a common, ordinary, casual day and no more: this is the day. It is sometimes so called without further epithet or explanation (1 Corinthians 3:13; Hebrews 10:25). Do we remember, do we live in the remembrance of all that is involved in it? The day of Jesus Christ is the day which is His altogether; the day which shall reveal Him as He is, disclose His real greatness, put down every rival power, and erect His throne forever as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Where shall we be then? Shall we be among those slothful and disobedient servants who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord? or rather among those who have been long waiting for Him with loins girt and lights burning, and to whom the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ will be also the day of their own final manifestation as the sons of God?

(Dean Vaughan.)

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