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Philippians 2:13

ESV for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
NIV for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
NASB for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.
CSB For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.
NLT For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
KJV For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

What does Philippians 2:13 mean?

In verse 12, Paul commands the Philippian Christians to "work out [their] own salvation," meaning they are to put the truth of their belief into practice. What they are in Christ needs to be "worked out" through their actions and attitudes. The reason for this command is given here in verse 13: God is acting through the lives of these believers. This understanding should lead believers to a deep sense of awe and appreciation.

Paul then adds two areas in which God operates in the life of the believer. First, God works in us to "will" His good pleasure. This includes the idea of placing desires or leading a believer to serve the Lord.

Second, God works in us "to work" for His good pleasure. God's Spirit in the believer gives both the desire and the strength to live for the Lord. "Work" appears as a common theme in this letter (Philippians 1:6; 2:12, 25, 30; 4:3). The idea of "his good pleasure" involves obedience (Philippians 2:12) according to God's Spirit. This is not the legalistic obedience of the law that Paul speaks against in the false teachings of the circumcision group, but rather obedience based on a love for God based on the Spirit living within the believer.
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