Monday, June 11, 2012

Hope and Assurance

Saints are filled with hope during suffering because they are confident that God will complete what he has begun.  Paul recognizes the partnership of the Philippians in the gospel from the time of initial gospel preaching to the day he wrote the letter to the community (Phil 1:5).  Their partnership was symbolized by their financial support of the Pauline ministry (Phil 4:10-19), though the partnership was more than financial assistance.  Such fruit in their lives persuaded Paul that God was truly at work.  He was convinced, therefore, that "he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:6).  The Philippians initial partnership in the gospel was God's work, and Paul does not envision a situation in which a saving work begun by God will default.  Thomas Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ, p. 274

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