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THE PAROUSIA IN THE APOSTLOTIC EPISTLES
THE PAROUSIA IN THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
THE DAY OF CHRIST.
The day of Christ is evidently regarded by the apostle as the consummation of the moral discipline and probation of believers. There can be no doubt that he has in view the day of the Lord’s coming, when He would ‘render to every man according to his works.’ On the supposition that the day of Christ is still future, it follows that the moral discipline of the Philippians is not yet completed; that their probation is not finished; and that the good work begun in them is not yet perfected.
Alford’s note on this passage (chap. i. 6.) deserves notice. ‘The assumes the nearness of the coming of the Lord. Here, as elsewhere, commentators have endeavoured to escape from this inference,’ etc. This is just; but Alford’s own inference, that St. Paul was mistaken, is equally untenable.
THE EXPECTATION OF THE PAROUSIA.
These words bear decisive testimony to the expectation cherished by the apostle, and the Christians of his time, of the speedy coming of the Lord. It was not death they looked for, and waited for, as we do; but that which would swallow up death in victory: the change which would supersede the necessity of dying. Alford’s notes on this passage is as follows:---
NEARNESS OF THE PAROUSIA.
Here the apostle repeats the well-known watchword of the early church, ‘The Lord is at hand:’---equivalent to the ‘Maran-atha’ of 1 Cor. xvi. 22. To doubt his full conviction of the nearness of Christ’s coming is incompatible with a due respect for the plain meaning of words; to set down this conviction as a mistake is incompatible with a due respect for his apostolic authority and inspiration.
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