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Partnership for the Sake of the Gospel

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Partnership for the Sake of the Gospel

Philippians 1:3-11

Bethlehem Baptist Church

July 8, 2001

Phil. 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Phil. 1:4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

Phil. 1:5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

What does it mean to participate in the gospel?  Literally koinonia in the gospel

Explore the nature of the Philippians partnership in the gospel with Paul:

1. Historical Background to Paul’s relationship with the Philippians

Acts 16:9 Paul in Troas (during 2nd missionary journey 50-52AD) receives a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and appealing to him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”   He takes a boat from Asia minor and crosses over into Europe for the first time, passes through Samothrace (an island) through Neapolis and arrives at Philippi—a  leading city in the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; since there was no synagogue he went to the river hoping to find a place of prayer.  He finds a group of women and God opens Lydia’s heart to the gospel (6:14); she and her household were baptized; Paul casts out spirit of divination in a slave-girl; her profitability vanishes and her owners drag Paul and Silas before the magistrates who have Paul and Silas beaten with rods “many blows” (16:22) and through them into prison fastening their feet in stocks; Paul and Silas sing hymns at midnight, God sends an earthquake, the prisoners get free, the jailer decides to commit suicide, but before he can Paul intervenes; the jailer and his household get converted and are baptized; Paul appeals to his Roman citizenship and the magistrates beg Paul to leave the city; on their way out they stop by Lydias house and encourage the new believers (16:40); goes on to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth (1 year and six months 18:11); Paul goes back to Syria, Ceasarea, Jerusalem, and Anioch. 18:23 starts his third missionary journey (53-57AD); he ministers in Ephesus (for over 2 yearsÑ53-55AD); while there he plans to pass through Macedonia and sends Timothy and Erastus there first while he waits in Asia; riot occurs in Ephesus over the downturn in the idol business; Paul leaves Ephesus and passes through Macedonia on to Greece then back to Macedonia and sails from Philippi (20:6); speaks to Ephesian elders in Miletus then makes his way back to Jerusalem and is arrested (57 AD); spends two years in jail in Caesarea (57-59); sails to Rome and is imprisoned for 2 years (59-62); writes Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians (probably last epistle during this imprisonment written in 62AD) from prison in Rome; released from Rome in 62AD; 4th missionary journey (including Spain?) from 62-67 during which he spends time in Philippi and perhaps writes 1 Tim. And Titus from Philippi (cf. 1 Tim. 1:3); back in prison in Rome 67-68; executed in 68.

Paul’s partnership with the Philippians *

1: 5 Participation from 1st day until now

gospel proclamation and advance, but also mutual enjoyment of the gospel itself

NAU Philippians 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 in no way alarmed by your opponents -- which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

Philippians are praying for Paul

NAU Philippians 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Paul is praying for the Philippians

NAU Philippians 1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

NAU Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Suffering along with Paul for the Gospel’s sake

NAU Philippians 1:30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

NAU Philippians 4:14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

Paul viewed his defense before Caesar as a pouring out of His life for the Philippians faith

NAU Philippians 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

Sending contributions to Paul when he was in Thessalonica and Corinth

15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;

sending contributions to him now in Rome

NAU Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

Sent Epaphroditus to Paul

NAU Philippians 2:25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

Paul sending Epaphroditus now and Timothy soon to them and hopes to come himself

NAU Philippians 2:25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

NAU Philippians 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.

NAU Philippians 2:23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

Fellow Partakers of Grace

NAU Philippians 1:7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.

NAU 2 Corinthians 8:1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

NAU 1 Corinthians 9:23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

NAU Philippians 1:7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.

NAU Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

NAU 1 Thessalonians 2:17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while -- in person, not in spirit -- were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. 18 For we wanted to come to you -- I, Paul, more than once -- and yet Satan hindered us. 19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

The profit of sharing

NAU Philippians 4:15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

The act of sharing is an act of worship

18 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.

NAU Philippians 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

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