A Fellowship in the Gospel

May 4, 2012

“… your fellowship in the Gospel…”  (Philippians 1:5)

When you read the first words of Paul’s letter to his favorite church they show you the passion of Paul and the heart of this church he loved.  The bonds that made them so remarkably one in heart are expressed in the repetition of one word: “Gospel.”  Paul writes that the things he has experienced have fallen out to the furtherance of the Gospel.  And that he has them in his heart because in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel they all are partakers of God’s grace.

As Paul continues to repeat the word “Gospel” he expresses his heart’s passion when he describes what he calls “the faith of the Gospel.”  He precedes that with the concept of behavior that becomes the Gospel.  Paul is describing the purpose and function of a church when he calls their church “a fellowship of the Gospel.” The context in which the Gospel is to be believed is that fellowship of the Gospel.

Paul is in prison when he writes these words and he doesn’t know if he will be released.  In verse 27 he writes his ideal for his ideal church.  His great Gospel prescription is: “I want to hear that every member of your church is a Christian; every Christian is Christian and Christians are Christian together in a way that results in other people believing the Gospel!”

Paul’s plan for filling this prescription for his ideal spiritual community is to “Stand fast in one Spirit with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel!” (1:27) That Church in Philippi is to act as if they have one mind among them because in fact because they do.

It is the mind of Christ.


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