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The Joy of Participation

A devotional by Grace To You for reading on February 12th

"In view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now" (Phil. 1:5).

You share in a sacred partnership with Christ and your fellow-Christians for the advancement of the gospel.

In recent years the Greek word koinōnia has become familiar to many Christians as the New Testament word for fellowship. However, it is also translated "partnership" and "participation." In Philippians 1:5 5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; , Paul uses it to emphasize the participation of the Philippians in common ministry goals.

Romans 12:13 13 communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality. gives one aspect of that partnership and participation: monetary contributions. That's one aspect of fellowship that the Philippian church eagerly shared with Paul. As he says in Philippians 4:15-16 15 And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving and receiving but ye only; 16 for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. , "At the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs." They were partners in his ministry because their financial support made it possible for him to preach the gospel more effectively.

The Philippians knew that Paul carried a tremendous burden in his heart for all the churches. In listing many of the trials he endured as an apostle, then added, "Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:28). The Philippian church eased that burden somewhat by being committed to Paul, to his teaching, and to godly living. That brought great joy to him.

How about you? Do your leaders derive encouragement and joy from your participation in the gospel? Remember, you share in a sacred partnership with Christ and your fellow Christians in the advancement of the gospel, just as the Philippians shared a partnership with Paul. Rejoice in that privilege and make the most of it today.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for the Christian fellowship you enjoy.
  • Ask for wisdom on how you might advance the gospel more effectively.
  • Always seek to ease the burden of your spiritual leaders by faithfully participating in the ministry of your church as God has gifted you.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 4:11-16 11 And he gave some `to be' apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: 13 till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, `even' Christ; 16 from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in `due' measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love. .

  • What is the goal of Christian ministry?
  • What is the role of a pastor/teacher in achieving that goal?
  • What is your role (see also Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

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Copyright 2017 by John MacArthur. Used by permission from Grace to You.

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