God Finishes What He Starts

Bible Reading: Philippians 1:1-6

Philippians 1:6, “And 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.”

Years ago, Laura and I lived in the small town of Columbia City.  We’d often take walks through the neighborhood.  Around the corner from our house was the abandoned foundation that had long ago been overcome with weeds and brush.  I wondered, walking by, what had happened?  Had the builder run out of funds?  Did some unforeseen family situation halt the construction?  I never found out, but that unfinished project speaks to a common human malady.  We sometimes fail to complete the projects we start.  The landscape of human history is littered with an immeasurable number of such half-finished undertakings.  And even if they are quote unquote “finished,” they are never brought to the point of true perfection, because true perfection in any matter lies in the realm of the Divine.  On this side of heaven, things are intrinsically and inevitably mired in the effects of the curse.

Things are different with God.  God finishes what He starts.  He always does.  That was true of God in creation.  He began a work in creation which we read about in Genesis chapter 1.  Then we read in Chapter 2, verse 1, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed.”  That was true in the saving work of Jesus Christ, even as He declared from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30)!

Our verse speaks to the work that God does in the lives of those who trust in Him for salvation. God will finish the work that He starts in them. To put it another way, “Those who are truly saved will be kept saved by God and God will finish the work that He started in them.” The truth is founded on the reality of who God is. His love is such that nothing can work to separate us from it (Romans 8:37-39). His power is such that nothing can work to thwart His plans (Romans 8:31; Philippians 3:21). His wisdom is such that He can even use bad things to accomplish His good purpose (Romans 8:28-29). He is faithful to always, always, fulfill His promises and complete that which He has purposed to accomplish (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

He began a good work when He caused you to be born again (1 Corinthians 1:30).  His good work continues as the Spirit progressively transforms you into Christ’s image “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  One day, when you enter Christ’s presence, he will bring His work into completion, when He transforms your “lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21).

You are in a race to be run with endurance.  The race knows of obstacles and detours and hardships that will likely bring you to your knees (or lay you flat out on your face in despair).  But the One who put you in the race is greater than all, and He will work to bring you safely home (2 Timothy 4:18).  You are in a good fight that must be fought.  You are threatened and confronted with Goliath-like opposition.  But your big enemies are small compared to our big God.  Through Him you are “more than (a) conqueror” (Romans 8:37).  You are His work of art (Ephesians 2:10).  Your salvation testifies to the miracle and majesty of His amazing grace.  Like a piece of clay in a potter’s hand, there are flaws to repair and necessary alterations to make.  The potter’s wheel goes round and round as He carefully works the clay.  We need never doubt the ability of the potter to bring to perfection the good work He began in us.

We face opposition, obstacles, challenges, defeats, setbacks, regrets, trials of various kinds—the path is not easy!  How important is this truth—that God will finish the work that He started in you! Steve Green had a song, “He who began a good work in you.”  Here’s some of what He said in that song:


He who started a work
Will be faithful to complete it in you

If the struggle you’re facing
Is slowly replacing your hope, with despair
Or the process is long,
And you’re losing your song In the night
You can be sure that the Lord Has His hand on you
Safe and secure He will never abandon you
You are His treasure,
And He finds His pleasure in you

He who started a work
Will be faithful to complete it in you

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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