Moving Toward Completion

New Philly Hongdae (video streamed to Sillim, Itaewon, Busan, Sydney, Melbourne)
Preached by Christian Lee on March 6, 2016, Sunday.
Duration: 73 minutes (audio)


Preached at NP Hongdae-Alpha

Overview

Paul has an assured confidence that God, who began the good work of salvation in the Philippians, would complete that same work in them at the day of Christ. This continuation and completion of the good work is neither automatic (where we can sit back in passivity) nor independent (where it all depends on us). Rather, the good work is synergistic, a cooperative action between both God and us. At the same time, the ultimate basis for our confidence in its completion rests not in ourselves but in God and his faithfulness. The final goal of this holistic work of salvation is to make us like Jesus Christ, beautiful and holy and blameless.

Discussion Questions

CG questions written by Paul Yoo.

  1. Reread Hebrews 10:19-25. According to the author of Hebrews who is he referring to in his ‘let us’ statements? When applying this word to our lives who are we being encouraged to focus on being considerate towards?
  2. When we hear that God is the one who will complete his good work in us, some may falsely conclude that we can sit back in passivity and idleness. Read Phil 2:12-13. What does Paul say is the reason why we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling? What is an opposite way to doing this with “fear and trembling”?
  3. When Paul instructs us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling”, he has in mind a “continuous, sustained, strenuous effort[1]. What are some ways you are currently making efforts to work out your salvation? Would you say it is characterized by “fear and trembling”? Would you consider it a ‘continuous, sustained, strenuous effort’? If not, in what ways do you fall short?
  4. Read Phil 1:9-11. Even while Paul has assurance of the Philippians continuing unto maturity, he prays for them to mature in love and knowledge. Why is prayer for one another not contradictory with assurance of our final end? What implications does this have for our involvement with God’s people through the church? Does full assurance of our final completion mean we can be independent in our Christian life?
  5. Read 1 Thess 5:23-24 and 1 Cor 1:7-9. What is the ultimate ground of our assurance that we will be blameless on the day of Jesus Christ? When we lose this proper balance between God’s work and ours, and instead place too much emphasis on my part, how does it lead to pride? How does it also lead to fears and doubts? When we place our final trust in God’s faithfulness, how does that lead to humility rather than pride, and security rather than fear?
Footnotes
  1. Motyer, Alec. The Message of Philippians.

Leave a Reply