READ: Philippians 1:3-11
- Twice in this opening paragraph, Paul refers to his partnership with the Philippians. He uses the term a total of 6 times in this letter. He uses the same root word twice in the closing paragraph to thank them for their sharing with him in both troubles and finances. Partnership spans the gamut of ideas. We share in partnership in mission and in life. We do so in whatever ways are needed in that moment.
- The opening partnership that Paul identifies may be the most important goal of partnership possible. This partnership is “in the gospel.” Nothing can get in the way of that goal. No church can be the church if the gospel isn’t the leading edge of their mission. Paul opens his letter to this church (the first founded on European soil) with the leading mission for any church. It is never partnership for partnership’s sake. It can only be partnership for the sake of the gospel.
- The root word involved here is often translated fellowship. At its base, the idea is to have something in common. We have fellowship/partnership with those who share our faith in common, our aim in common, and our heart in common, and most importantly, our salvation in common. This congregation was Paul’s advocate and partner from the time of its establishment.
- Identify some of the partnerships in which you are involved.
- Why is partnership such an important part of the gospel?
- What kinds of partnerships could/should Christians entertain?
PRAY: Thank God for our congregation and all who were involved in bringing it to today. Thank God for the person(s) who introduced you to the gospel. Pray that we can foster the appropriate partnerships.