READ PHILIPPIANS ONE
After doing two seemingly isolated word studies, it is time to put the two Greek words we’ve focused on over the last few days together.
Look back on your notes. What did you learn about the word for Gospel?
Look back on your notes. What did you learn about the word for Partnership/Fellowship?
When you consider these two words’ individual meaning, what do you think the phrase κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (“partnership in the Gospel”) means as a whole?
Paul has already used – in just five short verses! – emphatic and affectionate language to describe his relationship with the Philippian believers. They are close friends, he makes that much clear. But more than that, they are partners with Paul in the Gospel. This phrase κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον indicates to us that they are taking part (or par-taking) in the practice and expression and furtherance of the Gospel together with Paul.
When we considered the various things that the Gospel can reference – our own faith as believers, that which we are to proclaim, and that which we hold out to other believers – we can see the breadth of the Philippians’ partaking with Paul. This phrase indicates to us that the Philippians and Paul have together participated in embracing the Gospel in personal faith; together, they have believed the good news about Jesus Christ. They have also participated together in furthering the Gospel; as Paul preached on his missionary journey and as the Philippians share the good news with their neighbors, they partake together in furthering the message of the Gospel. And together (and, in my own heart and mind, most strikingly), they have reminded each other of the Gospel; when the other was weak, discouraged, afraid, doubting, or struggling, they have pointed each other to the Christ of the Gospel. This, my friends, is fellowship in the Gospel! This is what it means to have a partner in the Gospel!
Tomorrow, we’re going to look more applicationally at this concept, but for today let’s savor the sweetness of our Bible study. We’ve done the hard work of digging into the Text, and we’ve gained so much understanding of what Paul means in just his introductory remarks! If this is the case in just verse five, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
PRAY & REFLECT
Spend some time asking God to teach you about what it would look like in your own life to have κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον. Ask Him to reveal who might be a partner in the Gospel in your own life; ask Him to prepare your heart to grow in being a partner in the Gospel to someone else.