Our Sunday Evening Message for November 21, 2023:
"Fellowship In The Gospel"
Text: Philippians 1: 5-8
In our Sunday Evening service, we have taken on a new study. We will like to walk you through the Epistle of Philippians. It is only four chapters long, but rich in encouragement in living a fruitful Christian life. We will approach this study in an expository manner breaking down each verse so that we can understand the scriptures.
Paul is in a prison in Rome when he wrote this epistle. It is referred to as one of the Prison Epistles. There are four of these epistles in the New Testament. They are Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. This epistle comes out of a wonderful relationship that Paul had with these Philippian believers. As you read these four chapters, you will see a close connection that Paul had with all these believers. Likewise, you will also see the love that the Philippian believers had for Paul.
This epistle deals with the joy of Christian fellowship. There are two types of fellowship mention in this epistle, the fellowship in the gospel (v.5) and fellowship in the spirit (2:1) In this message, we focus on the fellowship in the gospel.
So, first, we must notice what fellowship is. It is not a social club,or a Bible study group, nor a particular age bracket. It is a fellowship in the gospel. Fellowship refers to a joint -participation in a common interest or activity. The believers in the early church had that kind of fellowship, We are told that "all that believed" were together and had all things in common. (Acts 2: 44) What they had in common was the gospel. The book of Acts tells us that they devoted themselves to the "apostles' doctrine." (Acts 2: 42)
So what is the "apostles' doctrine?" The word apostle means "the sent ones."
These apostles were the twelve disciples that were taught by Christ to,"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) So, what is the gospel? It is the message of the cross. It is His death, burial, and resurrection.
This is what we see here in this epistle.The Philippian believers had a joint participation with Paul in a common interest in preaching the gospel. They did this by supporting Paul with their financial giving and through their prayers. It was as if these believers were on the mission field working side by side with the Apostle Paul.
My friend, the same is true for the church in our day. Every time we pray for a missionary or give financial support to missions, we are in joint participation in preaching the gospel with that particular missionary. It is as if we too are working side by side with that missionary in the mission field he is serving.
God loves missions, because the support for missions is carrying out the Great Commission. Any church or person who supports mission will receive a special blessing from heaven, I do believe.
Pastor Michael R. Martin
Rev. Michael R. Martin
Contact: (336) 613-6878