Partnership in the Gospel
Partnership in the Gospel
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
“Because of your partnership in the gospel from the
first day until now.” Philippians 1:5
1. Tonight we will look at two classes of people who come to church - contributors and consumers. Before we go any further let us ask ourselves which one we are. I pray that we are those who are faithful partners “with the saints.”
2. Over the past 3 Wednesday’s we have seen “The Joy of Recollection” (v 3) “The Joy of Intercession” (v 4) and tonight we look at the “The Joy of Participation.” (v 5)
3. A third element of God-given joy is participation. Literally being “Partners in the Gospel.” Koinōnia (partnership) is commonly rendered “fellowship,” or “communion,” and has the root meaning of sharing something in common. It is used in several places of sharing possessions or money.
4. Paul declares that faithful believers should practice to “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Rom. 12:13)
5. Later in the letter he uses the noun form in speaking of “a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem” (Rom. 15:26).
“At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you.” (Romans 15:25-28)
6. Also in 2 Cor. 8:4, where koinōnia is rendered “taking part or participation” he talks about them “begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints”
7. And in 2 Cor. 9:6-15 he says “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! “
8. In 1 Timothy 6:17-21 the it is rendered “ready to share,” as he says “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.”
9. And in Hebrews 13:16 the noun is translated “sharing.” “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefitted those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
10. As we close today let us ask ourselves Am I a partner in the Gospel with all the other saints? Am I a contributor or am I a consumer. I pray that we will all get the attitude of as the saints had in 2 Cor 8:4 where they were “begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.”
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050