Our Partnership in the Gospel

Philippians 1:3-6 ESV

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Paul addressed these words “to all the saints in Christ Jesus..” (v. 1) And a saint is one who is set apart by (or for) God, who is holy, which means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because one is being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. And this is not a select few Christians. All Christians, if their faith is genuine, are saints, but not all who profess faith in Jesus Christ are saints, for not all who claim Christ are living for Christ.

Okay, now this is important that we understand this for it will help us in our interpretation of this passage of Scripture. For Paul is speaking to the saints of God when he tells them that he is thanking God in every prayer for them because of their PARTNERSHIP in the Gospel. Now a partnership is a union, a cooperation, an alliance. It is the same word in the Bible used for fellowship. And it means we are sharing in and contributing to something.

So, the gospel is not just all about what Jesus did for us in dying on that cross for our sins. It is also about our response to what he did for us, by his grace, in faith and in practice and participation. Half of it is about what Jesus did and the other half is about what we must do in heart response to what Jesus provided for us. For our salvation is not just deliverance from hell. Our salvation is deliverance from slavery to sin so we can live righteously.

In other words, the Scriptures teach us that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us and who was raised from the dead. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will honor God with our bodies. And he died to free us from our addiction to sin so we walk in his holiness.

This is our participation in the gospel, our partnership, our fellowship with Christ and with his gospel. And it involves repentance (turning from our sin to follow Jesus), and it involves obedience to our Lord’s commands. And it involves us surrendering our lives to Christ to walk in his ways, and it also includes us sharing that same gospel with others so that they can be freed from their addiction to sin and live godly and holy lives pleasing to God.

So, when Paul said that he was sure that he who began a good work in these saints – those who were partnering in the gospel – that he (Christ/God) would bring it to completion at the day of Christ, he was not teaching that God/Christ does it all and that we do nothing or that our salvation is guaranteed upon Jesus’ return regardless of what we do in this life and in relationship to Jesus Christ. For the Scriptures warn the Christians that if they walk in sin that they will not inherit eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Philippians 1:7-8 ESV

“It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

Now, again, Paul is speaking to a very specific group of people, so we can only apply to our lives what applies to our lives. Not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ are partakers of God’s grace. Only those who have repented of their sins, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him and who are walking in his righteousness and holiness can claim this.

And then we need to understand what is God’s grace to us, for it isn’t just him rescuing us from hell, the forgiveness of our sins, and the hope of heaven when we die. God’s grace, which brings us salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And his grace delivers us from addiction to sin and it empowers us to live righteously to God’s glory.

[Acts 26:18; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Matt 7:21-23; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 2:6-8]

Philippians 1:9-11 ESV

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

The love this is speaking of is of God, not of ourselves. And since God is love and love comes from God and this love means to prefer what God prefers, then to love with this kind of love is to love like God does. And this love will be centered in moral preference, so it will be holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, upright, honest, faithful, trustworthy and steadfast. So this love will not deliberately and habitually sin against God and other humans.

So, if we have this knowledge and understanding of love and of how it is to be applied to our lives, and if we are putting this love into practice in our daily lives, then we will be exercising godly discernment, and we will approve of what is excellent in the sight of God, and we will thus be pure and without condemnation for the day when Jesus Christ returns for his bride. And we will be filled with the outgrowth in our lives of God’s righteousness that comes through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13]

Give Me Jesus

Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

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