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Philippians 1:6


Intro: Paul greets the Philippian believers with a prayer of thanksgiving.  He is thankful upon even the slightest remembrance of them.  These people had proven to be a very special blessing to Paul and to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.  Paul takes the time to tell them this.  Ill. It is important to let people know when they have been a blessing to us.  Roses do no good when the person is dead. 

      Then, in verse 6, Paul shares with them the good news that God is still working on them.  Isn’t it good to know that God isn’t finished with us yet? 

      There is an old children’s song that speaks to this truth.  It goes something like this:


He's still workin' on me,

To make me what I ought to be.

It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,

The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be,

He's still workin' on me!



There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,

"Don't judge me yet, there's an unfinished part."

But I'll be perfect, just according to His plan,

Fashioned by the Master's loving hand.[1]


      You see, none of us has arrived yet.  We are all still works in progress.  I am glad today that I am not what I used to be and that I am not what will be when He gets through with me some day.  As we travel toward eternity, we are mere clay in the hand of the Heavenly Potter.  He is working on us now, and He has great plans for us in eternity.  I would like to take this verse and point out the great truths that are examined here.  I want to try to preach for a few minutes on this thought: He’s Still Working On Me!  If you are saved, I want you to see that you have several reasons for rejoicing in your relationship with your Lord.  And, if you are not saved, I want you to know that you can be, if you will come to Jesus by faith.  So, let’s take a few minutes and look into this verse as we think on the thought: He’s Still Working On Me.


A.  Our Confidence Is Profound – Paul uses a strong word to describe the hope he has in Jesus.  The word “confidence” means “to persuade, to convince beyond all doubt.”  What Paul is saying in this verse is that he has been “persuaded beyond all doubt that he is eternally saved.”  Paul is exalting the fact that the saints can have absolute assurance that they are saved and that they will go to Heaven!

            Paul was not alone in that belief.  The Bible literally overflows with verses that tell us we can know for sure that we are saved, and how we can know that. Look at a few with me:

·        You can know that you are saved - 1 John 5:13.

·        How you can know that you are saved:

v     When you have believed in Jesus – 1 John 5:1; 4:15 (Acts 16:31)

v     When you have turned your back on the old life of sin – 1 John 5:2-5; 1:6-7; 2:15-16; 3:4-10 (2 Cor. 5:17)

v     When you have a desire to keep His commandments – 1 John 2:3-6; 2:17; 3:24 (John 14:15)

v     When you genuinely love the brethren – 1 John 3:10-23; 4:7-8; 4:20-21 (John 13:35)

v     When you have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit – 1 John 4:13 (Romans 8:9, 15)

      So, the ability to know that you are saved is not some fond, foolish wish.  It is a biblical truth.  It is something that you can know for sure.  That is a very profound thing!  Do you know for sure that you are saved by the grace of God?         

B.  Our Confidence Is Personal – Paul uses the word “you.”  This assurance that he speaks of is very personal in nature.  You need to know and you need to know based on the evidence.  You need to know based on the Word of God, not the word of another.  You see, saying “My mother told me I was saved…” is not good enough!  You need to know, you need to know for yourself, and you need to know beyond any shadow of doubt, 2 Pet. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:5.  Do you know for sure?

C.  Our Confidence Is Powerful – There is nothing more liberating and freeing to the spirit than knowing for sure that you have been saved.  Some people will tell you that you cannot know for sure.  They are dead wrong!  Those who do not know live in constant fear, doubt and worry.  They are always riding the altar trying to get the matter settled, and they should get it settled.  But, what a blessing from the Lord it is to be able to say with confidence, “I know that I am saved!”  (Ill. Paul – 1 Tim. 1:12) Do you have that confidence today?  Can you sing, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” with a pure heart because you know that He is?  Or is there doubt? Don’t delay!  Get it settled today!



(Ill. This confidence that we possess is not something that merely dwells within us.  The activity of God in us, around us and for us also makes our confidence in Him something that is precious, powerful and real.)

A.  Consider His Investment – With the words “hath begun,” Paul covers a lot of spiritual territory.  We all know what God did for us the day He saved us.  But, what we fail to consider is the fact that our salvation began long before we realized it.  Think about this:

·        God loved us before we ever existed – Jer. 31:3

·        God chose us in Christ before the world was formed – Eph. 1:5-6

·        God prepared a Savior for us before the world was formed – Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:18-20

·        God finished our salvation before we were born – Ill. The cross and all Jesus accomplished there – Isa. 53:4-6; John 19:30.

·        God drew us to Himself and gave us faith to believe in Jesus by faith – John 6:37-44; Eph. 2:8-9

·        God saved us eternally when we called on Jesus by faith – Rom. 10:9, 13

            In other words, the Lord has made a substantial investment in our salvation.  I cannot see Him walking out on us now, or ever! God did not do what He did in vain!  He did it in order to save our souls.

B.  Consider His Involvement – We are told that the same God Who began this “good work” “will perform it.”  This phrase means “to bring to an end; to complete; to accomplish entirely; to furnish completely.”  God will continue the work He has begun in you and me until the day we perfected, completed and home with Him.

            God did not save a single saint to lose them along the way home.  He saved us by His grace and He saved us for all time and eternity.  We have His precious promises to form the basis for that wonderful guarantee – 1 Pet. 1:5; John 6:37-40; John 10:28; John 3:16; John 6:47.  Many more could be named, but these are sufficient.  You see, it was not our works that saved us, and it is not our works which keep us!  We are saved by grace; kept by grace and secured by grace.  This thing is about grace from beginning to end!

C.  Consider His Intentions – The word “until” tells us that God is doing what He is doing in us with some end in mind.  We are headed somewhere.  In other words, God had some intention in saving us and if we can understand that; then we can understand why we can have the blessed assurance that we are secure in our salvation.  Here is why He saved you: Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:3-6; Eph. 4:13.  God saved us to make us like Jesus, and He will keep working on you and me until that level of perfection has been achieved!  He did not start this in us to fail.  He started it to finish it, and He will some wonderful day!


(Note: I am glad that He has a plan!  If this thing were up to me, I would have messed it up and lost it a long time ago.  But, my salvation belongs to Him.  He started it; He maintains it and He will finish it for His glory.  I cannot mess it up!

      Now, please don’t misunderstand me.  Many folks hear this and they say, “That’s what’s wrong with you Baptists!  You believe in that once saved, always saved business; and you think you can live anyway you please and it will be all right.”  Well, I believe that I am eternally saved and as sure for Heaven as if I were already there.  But, I do not think eternal security is a license to sin.  I think it is a strong motive to love Him more and to live like He would have me to live.  Salvation is unconditional, but nothing says “I love Jesus” any more than someone who obeys the Lord’s commandments!)



(Ill. Paul tells us that God will keep working on us “until the day of Jesus Christ.”  That little phrase ought to give us comfort today.  Let me show you how.)

A.  There Will Be a Day Of Termination – There is comfort in knowing that this earthly life will not last forever.  There is coming a day when the saints of God will leave this world with all its hardships and sorrows behind. 

            There are two ways this could happen.  One is through the rapture, 1 Thes. 4:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52.  The other way is through death.  But, we should not fear death, because Jesus has already conquered death for us through His Own death and resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:55-57; Rev. 1:18; John 11:25-26.  What the child of God calls death is merely a doorway into the presence of God, 2 Cor. 5:1, 8.  Regardless of how you leave this world; if you are saved, you are a winner either way! What a comforting truth!

B.  There Will Be A Day Of Transformation – When we leave this world behind, we will enter into Heaven and there, we will be changed!  This vile flesh, with all its appetites and affections will be left behind forever, and we will be changed into His image.  What a day that will be when we receive a perfect, glorified body in His presence, 1 Cor. 15:49-54; 1 John 3:1-2!  Here is another comforting truth!

C.  There Will Be A Day Of Translation – Not only will we be like Him, but we will also be with Him, 1 Thes. 4:17. To be with Jesus, in His presence, in His Heaven will be glory beyond compare, John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:4.  Thank God, when this life is over, there is a far better life waiting on all those who know Jesus.  That, my friends, is a comforting truth!


Conc: Thank God, He is still working on us!  And, He will continue to work until every single one of His children is at home with Him in His heaven. Someday, God will finish His work in us.  I have never been satisfied with the me I know down here, but I will be satisfied with the me that I will be when I arrive there, Psa. 17:15!  It will be hard to improve upon perfection!  

      Child of God, don’t despair today!  God is working and will continue to work in your life. He will not lose you.  He will not leave you, Heb. 13:5.  He will keep you and bring you safely home one day! Maybe you would like to bow before Him and renew your commitment to serve Him and love Him for every thing that He has done, and is doing, in your life.

      Some may be harboring doubts about your salvation.  Maybe you wonder if what you think you have is real.  The best way to get it settled forever is to bow before the Lord, confess your doubts and claim afresh the promises made in the Bible regarding salvation.  You do not have to leave this building with fear and doubt in your heart!

      Of course, there are some people here who know that you have not been saved.  I just want to tell you that you do not have to live another minute without Jesus.  If He is calling you to come to Him and you have that desire to be saved; you can come to Him right now, call on Jesus by faith and He will hear you and He will save your soul.  Is that what you want and need?  If so, please come to Jesus today!

[1] © 1980 by Hemphill Music Company/BMI. All rights reserved.

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