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Knowing that Paul mentions the guarantee of the Spirit multiple times in different letters, could it be possible that Paul is referring to the same concept of final perseverance in both Philippians 1:6 & 1 Corinthians 1:4-9? The “Good work” usually is disputed here in terms of Biblical hermeneutics to mean either the work of salvation or some gift to or from Paul. So it’s possible that Paul was referring to salvation.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6just as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

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    Paul wrote 1/2 the NT, always talking about salvation and by the same means thru Jesus, BY God, how can they not be connected thematically? The "good work" is what God does in believers - nothing to do with Paul
    – steveowen
    Sep 28 at 2:31
  • When you start with saying Paul talks about the ”guarantee of the Spirit multiple times” - could you please give an example?
    – Dave
    Sep 28 at 2:45
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    @Dave The Apostle Paul mentions the guarantee of the Spirit more than once in these separate NT books: “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” ‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:13-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. (Other translations vary)
    – Cork88
    Sep 28 at 3:25
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    @ steveowen55 That makes sense. I would agree it has to do with God’s Work in believers. I’m confused with the Hermeneutical dispute where people believe that Phil 1:6 has nothing to do with redemption. Thanks for the insight.
    – Cork88
    Sep 28 at 3:31
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    Thanks - the reason for querying is that if you talk about the/a “guarantee of the Spirit”, having a specific reference to relate that to your quotes from Philippians/Corinthians helps. (Me) - cheers!
    – Dave
    Sep 28 at 3:41
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Sure the two passages connect. This is a common theme throughout Paul's letters. For example.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:4–10, ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:5–13, ESV)

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor. 3:5–6, ESV)

Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Gal. 3:3–6, ESV)

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Paul's epistles maintain a balance between warning of the dangers of false teachers corrupting Christians, and the assurance Christians should have in God's providential care of them. Paul uses very strong language to condemn one group of corrupters - those of the circumcision group, who were trying to get Gentile converts circumcised. I quote the section to illustrate this point:

"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, who4ver he may be... As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" (Galatians 5:7-12 NIV 1987)

A balance always needs to be maintained between assurance of God's salvation, and staying alert to dangers that would make one slow down, or even stop running that spiritual 'race'. Sadly, there are those who think that once they've become a Christian, there is nothing more to be done but sit back and enjoy all the perks now, with glory to come later. That is absolutely not a thing that the New Testament indicates and Paul is a strong advocate for being engaged in a fight, to the very end.

He keeps that balance by being clear about traps that could way-lay Christians, and how the guarantee of the Holy Spirit indwelling them will protect and enable them. A particularly good part is in Romans chapter 8 (in addition to the two examples you gave in your comments). Some excerpts from that chapter are:

"...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires... You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you... And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. [see 2 Cor. 13:5] ...you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.... we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness... If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Ibid.)

That chapter in Romans is the proof positive that Philippians 1:6 is connected to 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 in the concept of perseverance unto final salvation. Christians are saved in a three-fold sense; at the point of conversion to Christ as their Saviour, during their life as they work out this salvation with fear and trembling, knowing God is at work in them, and ultimately receiving the crown of salvation at the resurrection of the body.

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  • Excellent answer. Very well balanced.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 28 at 18:06
  • Makes a lot of sense, thank you for your insight Anne!
    – Cork88
    Sep 28 at 23:02
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Can Philippians 1:6 be connected to 1 Corinthians 1:4-9?

Yes, the connection is the indwelling Spirit.

The indwelling confirms the believer in 1 Corinthians 1:

8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The indwelling Spirit completes the believer in Philippians 1:

6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus.

The indwelling Spirit enables the believer to persevere in Romans 5:

3b because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

These are three functions of the indwelling Spirit in the work of our salvation.

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  • I appreciate the time & post. Thank you Tony!
    – Cork88
    Sep 28 at 23:03

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