He Who Began A Good Work: What Does Philippians 1:6 Mean?


Philippians 1:6, “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.” (King James Version)

TranslationPhilippians 1:6
ESVAnd 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.
NASBFor I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
NIVbeing confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
NLTAnd 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.

Also see the meaning of Work Out Your Salvation to learn more.

He Who Began A Good Work: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

1:1-7 The highest honour of the most eminent ministers is, to be servants of Christ. And those who are not really saints on earth, never will be saints in heaven. Out of Christ, the best saints are sinners, and unable to stand before God.

There is no peace without grace. Inward peace springs from a sense of Divine favour. And there is no grace and peace but from God our Father, the fountain and origin of all blessings. At Philippi the apostle was evil entreated, and saw little fruit of his labour; yet he remembers Philippi with joy.

We must thank our God for the graces and comforts, gifts and usefulness of others, as we receive the benefit, and God receives the glory. The work of grace will never be perfected till the day of Jesus Christ, the day of his appearance.

But we may always be confident God will perform his good work, in every soul wherein he has really begun it by regeneration; though we must not trust in outward appearances, nor in any thing but a new creation to holiness.

People are dear to their ministers, when they receive benefit by their ministry. Fellow-sufferers in the cause of God should be dear one to another.

Also see the meaning of Greater Love Has No Man to learn more.

Philippians 1:6 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

confident—This confidence nerves prayers and thanksgivings (Php 1:3, 4).
this very thing—the very thing which he prays for (Php 1:4) is the matter of his believing confidence (Mr 11:24; 1Jo 5:14, 15). Hence the result is sure.

he which hath begun—God (Php 2:13).

a good work—Any work that God begins, He will surely finish (1Sa 3:12). Not even men begin a work at random. Much more the fact of His beginning the work is a pledge of its completion (Isa 26:12).

So as to the particular work here meant, the perfecting of their fellowship in the Gospel (Php 1:5; Ps 37:24; 89:33; 138:8; Joh 10:28, 29; Ro 8:29, 35-39; 11:1, 2 Heb 6:17-19; Jas 1:17; Jude 24).

As God cast not off Israel for ever, though chastening them for a time, so He will not cast off the spiritual Israel (De 33:3; Isa 27:3; 1Pe 1:5).

perform it until—”perfect it up to” [Alford, Ellicott, and others].

the day of … Christ—(Php 1:10). The Lord’s coming, designed by God in every age of the Church to be regarded as near, is to be the goal set before believers’ minds rather than their own death.

Also see the meaning of Be Fruitful and Multiply to learn more.

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