“being persuaded of this: that the one who began a good work in you will accomplish it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This verse is well known to many of us, and what a beautiful statement it is and indeed, it is the true source of joy for Paul as he reflects upon the dear saints in the Philippian church. Yes, they have been his helper and have provided him with a gift so he may continue the work of ministry in Rome, but more importantly, Paul has the assurance that the work the Spirit began in this church will be continually worked out in faith until that glorious day when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will return.
The language of the “Day of Christ Jesus” is a reference to the Old Testament language of “The Day of the Lord.” In the ancient cultures there was a notion that one day there would come a king who would be powerful enough to defeat all of his enemies in a single day and thus conquer the known world. Indeed, the ancient world never saw such a king for the one to whom that pointed was Christ Jesus. And indeed, on the cross, Jesus slew the great and powerful enemy, Satan, and demonstrated that he had defeated death by raising from the dead on the third day. In addition, when our Lord comes again, the scriptures speak of a time when all of the armies of the world will raise up against the righteous one and will be crushed under the foot of our Lord’s judgment. Indeed, what a glorious day that will be!
In the meantime, there is a promise that we can cling to as well. The work that has been begun in us by God is not work that rests on our skills or abilities to bring to completion. Indeed, it rests on God for His completion. And that is good news. How easy it is, sometimes, to get discouraged that the work you are seeking to do in a church, in a community, or even in a family is not bearing much fruit or any fruit at all. We set our timetables and our agendas for such things, but God has his own timetable and it is in God’s timetable that we must learn to trust and it is in his power (not our efforts) we must learn to rely. For indeed, as Paul says of this church, I too am persuaded that our God is able to continue his work in this world and even in this particular church until that day when he sends his Son to bring judgement upon his enemies once and for all time.