I can do all things through Christ?
Yep, today… we stumbled upon this “verse” again:
I can do all things through Christ.
In this case, it was used in a conversation with X, that was looking for a new job with a serious salary attached to it. Yes, it was a tough job, but “I can do all things through Christ.”…… I will get this job and will make a lot of money, Jesus will do that for me! That’s what the bible says in Philippians 4:13 and if I believe in that, I will get it!
Nope. Not at all… context people, context. Here we go:
Firstly, let’s look at the bible verse how it is written:
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Him = Jesus.
But what is the “all this”?
Let’s have a look at the verses that are before verse 13:
Verse 10: I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.Philippians 4:10
Ah, OK, this is the context for this bible passage. Paul wrote this to the Christians in Philippians, who were concerned about Paul. Why?
Well, Paul had a hard time.. Shipwrecks, multiple floggings, months and months in prison, so yes, they were truly concerned about Paul.
So let’s go a little bit more back into this passage, and let’s have a look at verse 4-7:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7
Here we see a picture emerging, this is Paul, who had HARD times, talking about setting your eyes on God! When we do that, we can do all things, survive chaos, avoid temptation, avoid sinning, remain humble, have the courage to keep telling the good news of Jesus, and on and on.
Look at verse 7, this makes it even more clear:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7
“will guard your hearts and your minds”. This is NOT will give you a better car, more money, and stuff like that. “hearts and your minds”.
And the closer we get to verse 13, the clearer the context of that verse is:
11: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
12: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.Philippians 4:11-12
“the secret of being content in any and every situation”.
And now that we have read all of that, now we know what verse 13 is about:
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:13
Being content in any and every situation. And that’s the opposite of “I can get everything through Christ, including a new car, job, more, more, more”.
On the contrary! Be content in any and every situation, even when hungry (verse 12), even when you don’t have a car, a house or anything else.
You know the history of Paul? Paul, (previously called Saul of Tarsus) was a Pharisee in his past. A person in high standing! He had it all! And…. lost, humanly speaking, it all. But what he got back.. was eternal life! And yes, he shipwrecked, got in jail, got tortured, but he got it!
God will help you to not lose your faith in God, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! No matter what the circumstances are. That’s what Philippians 4:13 is all about.
So, the next time somebody uses this verse again… be aware…. don’t pull it out of context. (just as with everything else in the bible, study, study, study, context, context, context.)