Today we are looking at the fellowship in the gospel. To understand our study we need to understand the meaning of fellowship in the context of chapter1. Pastor Steven J. Cole helps us.
True Christian fellowship means sharing together in the things of God.
There are five strands of true fellowship in these verses:
- True fellowship means praying for one another (1:3, 4).
- True fellowship means serving God together (1:5, 7).
- True fellowship means trusting in God’s sovereign working in one another (1:6).
- True fellowship means partaking together of God’s grace (1:7).
- True fellowship means heartfelt affection for one another (1:8).
Fellowship in the gospel V 1-11
a) Greetings of joy and thanksgiving V 1-4
Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
b) Why? Fellowship in the gospel V 5-7
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
c) Encouragement and genuine love V 8-11
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Paul loved the Philippians. He appreciated their service in preaching Christ. He encourages them to continue on in Christ.
Tomorrow we will look at the defense of the gospel.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001