Manual Partners & Partakers in the Gospel #1 (Philippians)

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  1. Philippians Commentary | Precept Austin
  2. Connecting Scripture to Jesus
  3. Philippians 1-4 Because of your partnership in the gospel

He is very confident God will continue his work in their lives and bring it to completion because of their partnership in the gospel. Paul is speaking about the process of their salvation. They are meant to be involved in it as well Phil 2. He prays they may grow in knowledge and discernment. So they may tell right from wrong. Gentile believers were reliant on the Holy Spirit to guide them in matters of morality since they were not brought up with the law of Moses.

Paul has great expectations for their lives. He believes they will be filled with the fruit results of righteousness. Passage and Comments Paul adheres to the standard conventions of letter writing in the first century with a few Christian modifications. Believers are made holy by Jesus. He is thankful to God because of their partnership in the gospel.

Paul wants to things to get better and better for them. He prays they may love one another more and more. You may like these posts. The prodigal son and his brother. There is only one thing that can give true joy and that is contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfies my mind; He satisfies my emotions; He satisfies my every desire.

He and His great salvation include the whole personality and nothing less, and in Him I am complete.

Philippians Commentary | Precept Austin

Joy, in other words, is the response and the reaction of the soul to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secular dictionaries define joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires. The world's definition of joy is synonymous with the definition of happiness, for both of these "emotions" are dependent on what "happens". Certainly there is a semblance of joy in human life, such as joy when one experiences a victory "We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.

May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. For example, Nehemiah declared to the down in the mouth not very filled with joy Jews that "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Neh 8: As an aside, it is not surprising that joy and rejoicing are found most frequently in the Psalms about 80 references and the Gospels about 40 references.

Ultimately Lewis experienced joy when he discovered that Jesus was the wellspring of all joy. Spiritual Joy then is not only an emotion that comes from favorable circumstances but paradoxically supernaturally can occur when circumstances are most difficult as Jesus taught His disciples declaring…. Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world.

Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice , and no one takes your joy away from you. And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Clearly one of the effects of being filled with the Spirit Eph 5: Paul to the Thessalonian believers who had just come to Christ out of pagan idolatry 1Th 1: Observe the juxtaposition of " joy " and " tribulation " once again affirming that the believer's joy is supernaturally given by the indwelling Spirit of Christ and thus is independent of the circumstances!

Are your circumstances dire? The Bible teaches you can still have the Joy of Jesus! Does this truth not help us understand Nehemiah's well known declaration to those grieving that independent of their grief, "the joy of Jehovah is your strength. And in Acts we see a beautiful illustration of joy that abides , vividly contrasting with happiness that depends on what happens …. So they Peter and the apostles who had been imprisoned and flogged - Acts 5: And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Note that the apostles' joy was independent of their uncomfortable, even painful circumstances but it was intimately linked with their proclamation of Jesus the Messiah cf John's "these things we write so that our joy may be made complete". Have you not had this supernatural joy in those times the Spirit has opened a door for you to proclaim Jesus to some lost soul? And doesn't this make sense… Jesus is the single most important Person in time and eternity and when we have the opportunity to share Him the joy we experience is simply unspeakable!

May we pray for and be alert for more and more opportunities from God's Spirit to share His Son with those dead in their trespasses and sins and in desperate need for the Savior Jesus Christ. The Christian life is to be a life of joy. It is founded on faith in Jesus, Whose life on earth began as "good news of great joy for all people" Luke 2: Joy from beginning to end and then without end. John describes our continual rejoicing in heaven in Revelation Dear believer and especially if your "joy quotient" is a bit low take a few moments to play and ponder the words of the great old spiritual song " Joy of My Desire.

Augustine - There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, that of all those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art; and this is the happy life, to rejoice in Thee, of Thee. And there is no other.

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Emotional fluctuations cannot disturb this Source of joy. In the epistle to the Philippians joy is like a golden thread Paul interweaves throughout this epistle It is founded on faith in Jesus, whose life on earth began as "good news of great joy for all people" Luke 2: The theme of joy is underscored by the 59 uses of joy and the 74 uses of rejoice in the New Testament as noted above most are in the Gospels always to signify a feeling of happiness that is based on spiritual realities.

Paul speaks of more than just a mood. Biblical Joy not only does not come from favorable human circumstances but is sometimes greatest when those circumstances are the most painful and severe. Nothing human or circumstantial can add to it or detract from it. Because joy comes as a gift from Him, the command obviously is not for believers to manufacture or try to imitate it but to delight in the blessing they already possess. The command is to gratefully accept and revel in this great blessing they already possess. Remember that this joy is not natural but supernatural.

As Paul says in Romans "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Warren Wiersbe defines joy as "that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances. This "holy optimism" keeps him going in spite of difficulties. Matthew Henry defines joy as "cheerfulness in conversation with our friends, or rather a constant delight in God. Donald Campbell former President of Dallas Theological Seminary says " Joy chara is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ Jn Christ displayed it in John 4: Barclay adds that "It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, still less from triumphing over someone else in competition.

It is a joy whose foundation is God. Joy is the byproduct of obedience. Haydn , the great musician, was once asked why his church music was so cheerful, and he replied: Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:.

I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six month's life. Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me. When dying, he said: But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls.

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  • They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians—and I am one of them. Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ!

    As an aside it is said that at the time of the Boxer Rebellion the Chinese Christians could not be disguised -- the light of their face betrayed them! O, to have such a Spirit anointed countenance! Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it double and trebles that want another way! In fact study after study has shown that the desire for material good, which has gone hand in hand with the rise of income in the West is actually a happiness suppressant!

    In my every remembrance of you - What is Paul saying?

    Philippians 1:7-11 (ESV) - I Hold You in my Heart

    What a great pattern to imitate! Again the word for prayer is deesis Click in depth study of deesis referring to specific supplications or prayer for particular benefits, the verb supplicate suggesting an attitude and posture of humility. Do I pray for all the saints or just a select few? All stand in the need of prayer. In every prayer, Paul made supplication for the Philippians with joy. Intercession is not a burden to be borne but an exercise of the soul to be performed with joy. He seeks thus tactfully to counteract the tendency to alienation of heart among them, a rumor of which seems to have reached him, and to which later he makes a direct reference see Phil 2: The true pastor cares for the whole of the flock.

    Collected writings of W. For Paul, prayer was the matrix of his ministry, the womb from which all spiritual ministry came forth. Prayer is a conversation with God, not a formula. Yet sometimes we might need to use a "method" to freshen up our prayer time. I recently came across this "Five-Finger Prayer" to use as a guide when praying for others:. So begin by praying for those closest to you--your loved ones Php 1: Pray for those who teach--Bible teachers and preachers, and those who teach children 1Th 5: It reminds you to pray for those in authority over you--national and local leaders, and your supervisor at work 1 Timothy 2: Pray for those who are in trouble or who are suffering James 5: It reminds you of your smallness in relation to God's greatness.

    Ask Him to supply your needs Php 4: Whatever method you use, just talk with your Father. He wants to hear what's on your heart. Our prayers ascend to heaven's throne Regardless of the form we use; Our Father always hears His own Regardless of the words we choose. It's not the words we pray that matter, it's the condition of our heart. Each finger stood for someone. Her thumb was nearest to her, and it reminded her to pray for those who were closest to her. The second finger was used for pointing and it stood for all her teachers in school and in the hospital. The third finger was the tallest and it stood for the V.

    The little finger was the smallest and the least important and to the nurse it stood for herself. My constant prayers for you are a real joy] for they bring back to my mind how we have worked together for the Gospel from the earliest days until now. I am thanking my God constantly for your joint-participation [with me] in the furtherance of the good news from the first day [when Lydia opened her home for the preaching of the Word] until this particular moment [as characterized by the gift which you have sent].

    Why pray joyfully and thankfully? By their prayers cf "first gave themselves to themselves and to us" 2 Cor 8: Always in my every prayer for all of you I pray with joy. Option 1 is quite similar to the translation above, but sees v. Option 2 is significantly different in that Paul thanks God because the Philippians remember him rather than when he remembers them.

    Your participation in the Gospel - Your fellowship in the Gospel. The New Living Translation is a very good paraphrase and I think accurately conveys Paul's intent in verse If two men bought a boat and started a fishing business, they were said to be in koinonia —a formal business partnership. They shared a common vision and invested together to make that vision become a reality.

    True Christian fellowship means sharing the same vision of getting the gospel to the world, and then investing personally to make it happen Ed: And trusting the Holy Spirit's working - Php 2: Dwight Edwards - The essential thing to see from this passage is Paul's perspective on laboring together for the same cause i. One was the arrow, the other was the bow. When William Carey went to India he told his friends, "I will go down but you must hold the rope. We can only do so much, but most of us could probably be holding more ropes than we are. He was earnest to carry it to the regions beyond; so were they.

    Connecting Scripture to Jesus

    If he preached, they would be there to encourage him. If he held special meetings, they were ready to help. If money was required, every man was ready according to his means, without pressing. Each one felt as earnest about the work as did his minister. They were enthusiastic for the furtherance of the gospel. They were heartily with him where he most valued their sympathy. Believers are joined together into one body in Christ Jesus, and it is the function of one part of the body to minister to another member of the body. If one member of the body does not minister to another member, it is to the detriment of both.

    Here Paul even 10 years later commends the saints at the local body in Philippi for ministering to and with him in the spread of the Gospel. Have you been co-laboring with a missionary or Gospel ministry for 10 years? Some of their " participation " was prayer for the apostle Php 1: In the last chapter Paul commends them writing that…. And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the Gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.

    Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. When Paul left, they partnered financially with him. According to Philippians 4: This church has always been a giving congregation Through your giving, you are actually partnering with God in what He is doing.

    When you give to a missionary, as I hope you do, you are sharing in their service. When you support a summer worker, you become a partner with him or her. Paul was in Rome, his friends were miles away in Philippi, but their spiritual fellowship was real and satisfying. Guy King -IN verse 5 Paul uses the words " your fellowship ", which give the keynote of this section; and, indeed, the thought is not far away all through the Epistle. Some of the commentators, in fact, consider that " fellowship " is the real theme of the Letter, and there is much to be said for that view.

    Here they are, then, the Philippian Christians and the Apostle, the good companions along the way. There are difficulties, of course, and there will be disappointments, perhaps, but judging from what he says, and from what they do, it is a very happy comradeship that they have - for them, at least, it is the Joy Way through life.

    Mark, please, that it is: It was one of the characteristics of the early church which so profoundly impressed the pagan onlookers, "See how these Christians love one other". The very same words are sometimes used by the world concerning us Christians to-day - only now they are spoken ironically! Joy Way - Philippians 1: They were thus fulfilling the "law of Christ" as Paul explained commanded in Galatians writing….

    The idea of koinonia is frequently referred to as fellowship the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc. Koinonia in this case a very special kind of sharing—entering into what John and the other apostles experienced with Christ. Believers have fellowship with the Triune God through His Son Christ Jesus and this also leads naturally supernaturally to fellowship with other believers. In some NT contexts koinonia refers to a willing contribution or gift Ro Believers have fellowship vertically with the Triune God through His Son Christ Jesus and horizontally with other saints.

    The "vertical fellowship" precedes and makes possible the "horizontal fellowship' between believers. It was used of a business partnership, where two or more persons share the same business and are thus closely connected in work. Also it was used of marriage, of the shared life of two persons, a man and a woman, together. Further, it was sometimes used of a perceived relatedness to a god, such as Zeus. Finally, it was used to refer to the spirit of generous sharing in contrast to the spirit of selfish acquiring.

    Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Webster says that share implies that one as the original holder grants to another the partial use, enjoyment, or possession of a thing though it may merely imply a mutual use or possession. When one considers the secular Greek use of koinonia to describe the marriage bed, one begins to get a glimmer of the incredible privilege we as finite believers have to be in communion with the infinitely holy God as John describes in 1Jn 1: Oh Lord, open our eyes to the breadth and length and height and depth of this incredible truth, that the unsearchable riches of the truth of our partaking of the life of the Almighty might motivate us to live holy lives for the glory of the Lamb in a world which has gone "AWOL" from God!

    When Jesus entered into time, His fellowship with the Father also entered into time. During the days of His ministry on earth, Jesus was introducing the Father to the disciples and initiating them into this fellowship. The unique fellowship between God and Jesus began in eternity, was manifested in time through the incarnation of Jesus, was introduced to the apostles, and then introduced to each and every believer through indwelling of the Holy Spirit 2Cor To reiterate, fellowship in Scripture does not refer to a social gatherings which is what many think of today as "fellowship.

    It is their common possession of life -- one with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which makes them one. Study these uses which are listed below and make a list arriving at your own "definition" of koinonia - this would make a great lesson for a Bible study over several Sunday mornings. Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Koinonia is one of the great words of the Gospel and the highest expression of a personal relationship and sharing the things of Christ, for as Marvin Vincent writes "The true life in man, which comes through the acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God, consists in fellowship with God and with man.

    Word studies in the New Testament. Fellowship is not coffee and donuts. Fellowship is not as some people cutely say two people, two fellows in the same ship. This is a very technical word, "that you may have fellowship with us. Now get that word in your heard and in your mind. That needs to be in your vocabulary. It is the Greek word koinonia and it means to hold things in common. That is, this Jesus, this established fact, because of this established fact that is established, there is a fellowship that is experienced that we can have fellowship one with another.

    It literally means to have something in common. Now notice who we have fellowship with. Notice he says in 1 John 1: How, what do I have in common with the Father? He's holy, I'm unholy; He is almighty, I am a worm. And, how can Adrian have fellowship with God? But yet the apostle John says, "Our fellowship is with the Father.

    Philippians 1-4 Because of your partnership in the gospel

    Notice in 1 John 1: If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness we lie and do not the truth. I mean there's a great chasm between us and almighty God, so how can I have fellowship with almighty God? This God, who knows that there's a chasm between Adrian and himself and between you and himself, sent the Lord Jesus Christ to take something that is common between us, human flesh.

    Jesus becomes a man and now he never discards his deity, but now he takes humanity and now we begin to have likeness, we become together. He takes on the nature of man that I might take on the nature of God and he says in Second Peter 1: Huh, we have the fellowship of the divine nature. You see, Jesus took humanity and, and therefore he became like I am that I might become like he is that we might have that he took the very nature of man that we might take the nature of God and so I have fellowship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I mean, a worm like I am can walk and talk and can fellowship with him and can sing, I come to the Garden alone, when the dew is still on the roses and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses, and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own. That's the fellowship , the koinonia that we have with him because of the incarnation and that's the reason old John is saying, Look, he's a man, he's a man, we saw him, we touched him, we hurt him.

    He took the nature of man that we might take the nature of God. And, and we have become partakers of the divine nature and then you see, look. Not only then do we have fellowship with God, but it follows as night follows day, that we must have fellowship with one another because when I am born of God and you are born of god, the same nature that's in Adrian is in you and the Jesus in me is gonna love the Jesus in you. We have the same nature, we're born from the same womb, from the womb of grace and that's so important.

    That's the reason why the Bible calls that in Philippians 1: That's the reason in Philippians 2 verse 1 it's called the koinonia or the fellowship of the spirit. The fellowship with Christ and with all other believers means more than just enjoying each one another's company but includes a mutual sharing of all aspects of our live, a sharing which is permanent, because our shared eternal life is forever.

    Believers belong to each other in a mutual partnership, produced by their faith in Christ. Not only does koinonia include our common fellowship in Christ Gal 2: John emphasizes that fellowship with God exhibits and proves itself by fellowship with Christians for. Men fall into two classes, those who are in fellowship with God, and therefore walk in light and love and those who are not in fellowship with God and therefore walk in darkness and hatred.

    Koinonia sometimes refers to the act of fellowship -- e. This spirit of sharing was immediately evident in the early church, as believers after Pentecost. Marvin Vincent writes that koinonia describes a "relation between individuals which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest and in each other. Vincent goes on to write that koinonia parallels "the Latin communio, from communis, common. Hence, koinonia is sometimes rendered communion.

    Wuest - "the word "fellowship" in the original means, "a joint-participation in a common interest and activity. The English word has largely lost its original meaning in religious circles, although it has retained it in academic phraseology. The word "fellowship" today usually means "companionship, intercourse between individuals. Wuest goes on to add that koinonia was used in secular Greek "in a marriage contract where the husband and wife agree to a joint-participation in the necessaries of life.

    The key idea in the word is that of a partnership, a possessing things in common, a belonging in common to. The idea in koinonia is that of one person having a joint-participation with another in something possessed in common by both. A very touching use of the verbal form of this word was found in a fourth century inscription; a doctor of medicine had put up an inscription to his wife who had also studied medicine, and who had died. In the Christian community, koinonia expresses intimacy with Christ 1Co 1: Koinonia or fellowship is not just patting somebody on the back, but for a believer, koinonia is sharing the things of Christ.

    Koinonia in Php 1: The Philippians were fellow laborers or co-laborers with Paul to take the whole Word to the whole world. Immediately upon becoming Christians and continually thereafter, the Philippians had dedicated themselves to living and proclaiming the truth about Jesus Christ, and specifically to helping Paul in his ministry. Wuest - "This was the Philippians' joint-participation with Paul in a common interest and activity, that of preaching the Gospel. The preposition " in " is a preposition of motion. This common interest and activity was in the progress of the Gospel. The Philippians supported Paul with their prayers and finances while he went about his missionary labors.

    This is what he is thanking God for. And this is part of that "whole remembrance" of them for which he is grateful. This joint-participation in the work of propagating the Gospel had gone on from the first day when Lydia had opened her home to the preaching of the Word Acts The justifying grace of the Son, the electing love of the Father, and the sanctifying fellowship of the Holy Spirit are inextricably coalesced in the partnership of the saints, a vast spiritual brotherhood that includes every person who has saving faith in Jesus Christ.

    Such fellowship was a great source of joy for Paul, as it is for all Christians who find strength, encouragement, support, comfort, and help through their fellowship with other believers. Fellowship occurs among friends committed to a common cause or goal and flourishes through their common pursuit of it. J Vernon McGee adds this note on "fellowship" in Php 1: This word is used widely in the church and outside the church.

    Years ago I was invited down to Huntington Beach about once a year to give a message at a Rotary Club luncheon. A Christian doctor was chairman of the program committee down there, and he would invite me to come at Christmas time or Easter time and give them the Gospel—both barrels, which is what I always tried to do. For food there would be embalmed chicken with peas as hard as bullets. For fun they had corny jokes. When you hear an announcement of a church banquet, it is almost certain that you will be urged to come for food and fellowship.

    What do they mean by fellowship? They mean meeting around the table and talking to each other about everything under the sun except the one thing that would give them true fellowship, the person of Christ… koinonia … means that which believers can share of the things of Christ. There are three elements that must enter into it: This would be sharing the great truths concerning Christ. Paul called all of these koinonia—fellowship. The result would be 3 sweet communion.

    It makes us partners with Christ. This is true koinonia. Paul wrote that this church was having fellowship with him. He had communicated to them the Gospel. They had shared with Paul in a sympathetic cooperation. They had sent a gift to him and had ministered to his physical needs again and again. Ephesians 6 Philippians 2. Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. Try it for 30 days FREE.

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