What Paul Meant By “I Can Do All Things”

For years Paul’s statement to the church at Philippi has intrigued me. He boldly told the church: “I can do everything through him [Christ] who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

What did Paul mean and what should it mean to us? Is this a means to get what I want? Or, is it a statement of God’s empowering His people to serve Him?

First, Paul emphasized “through Christ” not “I can.” Paul’s statement is not a statement of self-sufficiency. It is not a verse about the power of positive thinking. He did not mean that trying harder or thinking better would lead to success.

In this verse Paul gave us the source of power in life. It is through Christ.

In Christ, Paul became a new creature. In Christ, Paul experienced help for all of life.

You can read more on this concept by clicking here: http://waylonbailey.com/2013/06/10/what-came-before-i-can-do-everything/

Second, Paul emphasized doing “everything” for God for His glory rather than “whatever” Paul might have wanted for his own glory.

Often this verse becomes a selfish verse to get us what we want instead of a verse showing the power of God to help us to serve Him.

Third, Paul used this concept to show the importance of trust. As we trust Christ and turn our lives over to Him, we can do everything God wants in our life. As we depend on Him, we can do all things.

Fourth, this verse shows the power of God to accomplish His plan. How could Paul preach to the Mediterranean world? How could Paul give his testimony before Felix and Herod Agrippa? How could Paul stand strong under persecution? How could he overcome the discouragement of prison and the pain of beatings? How could Paul endure imprisonment and face execution?

He could do all these things through the power of Christ in his life.

Fifth, this verse is the model for us in living for God in a rebellious world. 

As Paul could do “everything” through Christ, so can we. Our strength and our hope is “in Christ.”

Finally, this verse means we have the power to live for God and serve Him no matter what the circumstances. 

Let us to “everything through him” who gives us strength.

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3 Comments


  1. Chanda Saacks
    Jun 12, 2013

    Compliments to Martha ….love the new blog.


    • Waylon
      Jun 12, 2013

      Thanks, I think her blog is going to fill a need and will be something really good.


  2. Ed Matthew
    Jun 12, 2013

    Isn’t it wonderful to be up before 0400 hrs and out before your blog hits; and here I am having enjoyed it all day via smart phone, just getting to the computer.

    Yes, he was saying, “Thank You!” Philippians for getting “It.” You have demonstrated you understand Romans 12:5 and in doing so you are being an example of Romans 12:1 & 2. You give me His Hope and Joy, a glimpse of what we will share eternally. Sadly, you are one of few, as others will call and proclaim His Name but His Name is not in them. Therefore, together let us press on in Romans 12:5, the fulfillment of our Lord’s Prayer for us. Indeed, we are one in Him and members of each other. Thanks Be to God!

    What Paul means still.

    Thank you!

    Blessings

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)