I hear individuals claim that through Christ, they can perform any activity because he strengthens them (Kodanko 661; Philippians 4:13). It is impossible to finish your business studies without one person uttering such words which are found in the Bible. On hearing these words, we respond with a loud Amen. It is apparent that this verse is now a famous catch phrase.
People are using it falsely even in the social media. The fact is that people do not know how to use this phrase properly as it is in the Bible. Instead, they recite the verse every time and everywhere without considering the appropriate place and time when these encouraging words should be uttered.
Bargerhuff (76) notes that this verse ought to be understood clearly from Paul’s thanksgiving perspective when he was addressing the Philippines. He was thanking them for showing him hospitality while in the gospel mission in their homeland. As a missionary sent by God to spread the gospel of the Bible, Paul faced hardship and tough times during the mission. However, he was still able to overcome the challenges and to preach the message of Christ to people across Philippi.
Paul went to Philippi with encouraging words that gave him hope. His belief was that Jesus accompanied him everywhere he went and this was the reason why he succeeded in the mission.
Therefore, people should stop misusing this verse while engaging in earthly things as a way of pleasing themselves. Instead, the verse should be understood properly so that it can be applied in appropriate contexts. The verse means that God’s servants can succeed in spreading the gospel as well as saving souls by submitting what they do to Jesus because it is He who sanctifies them so that He can use them in spreading His message all over the world.
To modern readers, this verse gives encouragement, support and hope so that they can serve as the vessels that Jesus need to use them the way He used Paul in spreading the gospel (Bargerhuff 76).
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Bargerhuff, Eric J. The Most Misused Verses in the Bible. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2012.
Kodanko, Luke. King James Version. New York: Luke Kodanko, 2011.