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Philippians 4:13

In Perspective, Scripture on September 13, 2011 by The Spillover

Great explanation of Philippians 4:13 from Phil Johnson at the Pyromaniacs Blog:

Philippians 4:13 famously says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” There is perhaps no more confident statement in all of Scripture.

But it’s not brazen self-confidence. It is confidence in the power of Christ.

That verse is not a manifesto for self-esteem and possibility thinking—although it is often used that way. People quote the verse as if it meant “With Jesus’ help you can achieve whatever dream you have for yourself.” That’s not the idea at all. Paul is speaking as a man who wants to do the will of God and knows he is too weak and sinful to do it, but he is laying hold of Christ’s power to do in him what he knows he cannot do on his own.

The appropriate cross-reference is 2 Corinthians 3:5: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” Paul is simply modeling the principle he gave as an imperaive in Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

There’s not room for as much as an iota of carnal self-esteem, if you understand that principle.

2 Responses to “Philippians 4:13”

  1. Love this. This verse is so often a victim of “scripture plucking”.

    More on that later this week.

  2. Amen!

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