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  • Phil. 2 v.12-13: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This does not mean you should work for salvation in order to obtain it. The Greek phrase “work out’ denotes the expression, manifestation, or actualization of something one already possesses. The Philippians are to “work out” the salvation God has already wrought in them (2 v.13), carrying it to its logical conclusion. God has granted them salvation not just for their own profit, but for the good of others as well. If they work out and manifest the new life divinely worked in them, they will live lives worthy of the gospel (1 v.27), in harmony with each other (2 v.2), seeking the progress of the gospel. They will also regard one another as more important than themselves (2 v.3), be concerned with the needs of their fellows (2 v.4), and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus. In doing all this they will work out or express the new life they have through Christ.

  • Col. 1 v.21-23: And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Reconciliation is the act whereby God, through Christ’s atonement, brings men who are at odds with Him back into a peaceful, proper relationship with Himself. “In the body of his flesh through death” (or “by His fleshly body through death”): The Colossian heretics may have argued that Jesus’ humanity and death indicate His inferiority to the angelic beings in the universe. Paul turns this argument against them, showing that His death points to His superiority; for His death is the divine means of achieving reconciliation to God. To present you holy..in his sight (or “to bring you holy.. into His presence”) This expresses the ultimate purpose of reconciliation: it is to eventually usher the believer, made perfectly holy, into the heavenly presence of God.

  • Romans 11 v.22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

This chapter talks of Israel being set aside, but a remnant remains. This is talking about the Gentiles being grafted in. Paul recognized both a unity of the church with Israel as enjoying the same blessing, and a diversity, neither usurping the other. When God is finished with the Gentiles He will reinstate Israel. Israel was set aside because of unbelief. The Gentiles have favor because of their belief. Therefore they should not be proud, but realize that intrinsic nature does not matter to or deter God. They should realize what He will do.

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