I am confident that Jesus will complete what he started in you and bring you to maturity
This is a statement of a type that was common in the first century after Christ which we have lost in contemporaneous American culture. The word used is epiteleó which means to perfect or bring to completion. But this perfection does not mean what we understand today. Much like teleios used by Jesus in His word in Matthew 5:48;
Therefore you will be perfect as God your Father is perfect
The concept of perfect here is one of fully developed maturity. As Christians, it describes a person wholly submitted to the Lord, walking in freedom in the Holy Spirit, bearing all the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5: 22–23, with the Lord free to manifest himself easily in that person’s life. Paul is convinced that this will happen to his friends at Philippi.
This is a common theme in the New Testament. Jude, in verse 24 shows this with:
…now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you pure and spotless…
Paul says the same in I Thessalonians 5:23–24;
…may the God of peace make you pure in every way with your whole three-part being kept blameless until our Lord Jesus comes again. God will make this happen, for he is faithful and He called you.
The writer of Hebrews says the same in 10:24
Let’s hold tight, without waffling, to the hope we proclaim, because we can trust God to keep His promise
Our assumption is that our trusting in the one who is able (faith, in other words) will bring about this perfection by the power of God. It is not something we work up, for we are not capable of this.
It is something wonderful that the Lord does in us as we allow Him to.
- Getting into Philippians 1:1-5 (radiqx.com)
- Be ye therefore perfect… (alookintomymind.wordpress.com)
- Adding the character of Jesus to who you are: Fruit (bergsland.org)