The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 9 of 253
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"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in
putting off the body (of the sins) of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2: 11).
If Colossians, when it explains spiritual circumcision to be "the putting off of the body
of flesh", is to be retained, why should Philippians be rejected when it also explains
spiritual circumcision by "having no confidence in the flesh"? The objection is evidently
the offspring of bias and cannot be maintained.
(5) The last objection is the fact that Paul refers in Phil. 4: 3, to "the Book of
In the book of the Revelation we read of the Book of Life of the Lamb slain since the
foundation of the world. This demands careful examination and our own translation
associates the words "since the foundation of the world" with the writing of the book, but
for the moment we must leave that question. It would be adding to Scripture to suggest
that the Book mentioned in Phil. 4: 3, is the "Lamb's Book of Life", or that it was not
written before the foundation of the world, or that there is not a Book of Life for each
sphere of blessing. Dispensational changes do not deal with such basic things as sin,
death, life, redemption, etc.  These retain their original meaning, whether found in
Gospels, Acts or Epistles. We should be thankful that the Apostle has indicated that the
names of the members of the One Body are in the Book of Life, just as surely as are those
of the true seed of Israel.
Having, then, examined these objections we feel that something much stronger and
more incisive than the objections we have been considering will have to be advanced
before Philippians can be removed from its place among the latest epistles written by
Paul, the Lord's prisoner. With its insistence upon service and reward, this epistle is a
balance to Ephesians, with its delineation of high privileges.
We may add that the element of reward is not absent from Colossians (Col. 2: 18;
3: 22-25) and that Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians contain a threefold emphasis
on axios, "worthy" (Eph. 4: 1; Phil. 1: 27 and Col. 1: 10), all of which support the
retention of Philippians among the epistles of the mystery.