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 (Galatians to Colossians)
Lesson 21
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Lesson 21

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Appeal to Work out Salvation (2:12-18)

Plans for Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19-30)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Work out your own salvation, blameless and harmless, shine as lights, word of life, rejoice, like-minded, things which are of Christ Jesus, gospel, longing, distressed, esteem.

II.    Segment Analysis

1.      1.      Conduct ourselves as true children of God so we may be acceptable to God.

2.      2.      Obedience to God’s command is the way to work out our salvation. In preparing ourselves to meet God, we must serve Him with reverent fear by leading holy lives (Heb 12:14, 28-20).

3.      3.      Working out our own salvation does not mean earning our salvation with our efforts. Verse 12 and 13 must be read as one single thought. We must work out our own salvation because it is God who works in us. Without the work of God in believers’ lives, salvation would simply not be possible. But believers must continuously respond by faith to God’s saving work. Such “working out” is an act of obedience that demonstrates our faith in the saving grace of God. It does not serve as the basis of our justification or salvation.

4.      4a.    Complaining and disputing is the way of this crooked and perverse generation. While the people of this dark world constantly complain and dispute with one another, believers, who are the light of this world, should not be conformed to such attitude and behavior. In fact, we must do all things without complaints or disputes.

5.      5.     To hold fast the word of life means adhering to the teachings of the gospel. This phrase can also be translated, “hold out the word of life” (NIV). In this sense, the verse reinforces the previous statement about shining as lights in the world. Not only should we persist in our obedience, we must also make the word of life known to the dark world by our godly lifestyles.

6.      6.      The analogy is that of a drink offering being poured out on the sacrifice (cf. Ex 29:38-41; Num 15:1-10). Paul considered his ministry and life a service to the believers. The purpose of his “running” and “laboring” is that the believers may be accepted in the day of Christ. Paul’s genuine love for the believers enabled him to have such a selfless spirit.

7.      7.      1. He sincerely cares for the state of the believers (20). 2. He seeks the things of Christ Jesus (21). 3. His character has been proven, since, like a son with his father, he has served with Paul in the gospel (22).

8.      8.      Just as the Philippians have always been a reason for Paul’s joy, he is confident that reports about their further progress will be a source of great encouragement.

9.      9a.    The work the Lord has entrusted to us—preaching the gospel (22) and caring for the faith of believers (20).

10.  10a.  Brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier (25).

11.  10b.  He was sent by the Philippians to bring their gift to Paul and to minister to his needs (25, 30; 4:18).

12.  11a.  See verses 26-28.

13.  11b.  In this example we can see that the Philippians, Paul, and Epaphroditus all look out for others interests instead of their own. We ought to also care for one another with such genuine concern.

14.  12.    Whereas the world esteems people of talent, wealth, and power, we should esteem those who labor for the work of the gospel (30; cf. 1Tim 5:17). By holding God’s workers in esteem, we honor God and His work (Mt 10:40).


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