by Chuck McKnight, AiG–U.S.
February 10, 2012
This phrase comes from a well-known verse in which Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). To understand the context of this verse, it is essential to read the verses that precede it. In the first few verses of Philippians 4, Paul urged his readers to trust God, stand firm, and always rejoice, no matter what their circumstances may be. He then pointed out the hardships he had personally suffered in verses 11 and 12. Immediately following those statements, in verse 13 Paul clarified that he was only able to endure such things because Christ empowered him to do so. This is simply a personal testimony of the strength Jesus supplied Paul to bring him through his trials. The Greek word translated “can do” (ischuo) more precisely indicates having the strength needed. It comes from the root word, ischus, which means strength. So we see that this verse does not mean that we can do absolutely anything. Nothing in this context suggests that Jesus hands out miracles to accomplish absurdities or trivialities. Rather, it means that Christ gives strength to endure the difficulties we will face for serving Him.
Continue reading to understand these verses further, and to consider a similar misunderstanding of another well-known passage
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