Philippians 1:3–6 – Partnership in the Gospel

Making church we are better to get our hands dirty trying to build something up instead of waiting until shall happen. Every day we should work as hard as we can to forward the message, warning people the end is near, as if it could come tomorrow.

Like the apostle Paul was confident we do not have to be afraid professing or to affirm openly the truth and trying to build communities where people come together in friendship and love for each-other and for the Word of God. Better to have some unfinished work at the time of Jesus return instead of nothing being done. When we do take Jesus as the cornerstone of the Church of God we shall not have to fear human people nor the one who shall judge those who did not the work they should have done, because they thought faith and salvation did not need any works.

To remember:
  • Reason for his thanksgiving is the church’s “partnership” (κοινωνία) in the Gospel.
  • close participation
  • The Philippian church participated in Paul’s ministry by sending him financial support via Epaphroditus
  • Paul is absolutely confident that God will finish the good work he began.
  • When > church also participates in God’s grace.
  • God will bring their work to completion
  • God himself is the builder and he cannot fail.


  • Who was Epaphroditus in the Bible? (
    Epaphroditus played a key role in biblical history, even if his name is not immediately recognizable. He is mentioned by name twice in the book of Philippians, one of Paul’s Prison Epistles. Epaphroditus is the one who delivered the original manuscript of Philippians to its original recipients, the church in Philippi.
    Epaphroditus faithfully delivered the gift from his home church and then went above and beyond the call of duty. In his fervor to serve the Lord by serving Paul, Epaphroditus became seriously ill and, in fact, almost died. God graciously granted Epaphroditus health, and Paul sent his friend back home with the newly penned book of Philippians.
    Epaphroditus was a man of obvious devotion, faithfulness, and self-sacrifice. He put “the interests of others” before himself and so modeled the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:4–5). He labored on Paul’s behalf until his own health broke, and, even when he was sick, Epaphroditus took no thought of himself; rather, he was distressed because his church had heard of his illness, and he didn’t want them to worry.
  • Philippians 2 (
    he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
  • Philippians 2 – Have This In Mind (
    In the first chapter of this letter, Paul wrote to them about some brethren who (in light of his imprisonment) were preaching the gospel out of envy, rivalry, and selfish ambition. Now he urges the Philippian brethren to do nothing from selfish ambition, but to “count others more significant than yourselves.”
  • Love another Christian just because of the fellowship of the gospel (
    It sounds like Christians are supposed to band together in common purpose in order to complete a quest. They are not supposed to just be hanging out to pass the time. There is planning. There is cooperation. There is danger. There is achievement. There is adventure. I think that he loves the church in Philippi because they have entered into this fellowship of the gospel with him.
  • Comparing Paul’s Epistles to Augustine’s Letters (
    The question is not “Was Paul ‘in Christ’ while persecuting the church?” nor ”Were there people ‘in Christ’ before Paul?” but “Did Paul receive his gospel from those who were ‘in Christ’ before him?”
    Other than the pastoral letters (clearly not authentic) and Philemon, Paul’s epistles were addressed to entire churches, usually ones that he had founded. Augustine, on the other hand, was usually writing to a smaller audience, frequently a single (historical) individual whose correspondence to Augustine is sometimes also extant. We have, of course, no existing correspondence addressed to Paul.
  • You are a unique Gospel that God wants to write: Life or lie message? (

    The Gospel is about the Atonement, of which the personal relationship of “at-one-ment” with God is the result. “The atonement through Christ, says R. C. Sproul, is the core of the Gospel. What happens is, the Gospel becomes a personal relationship within Jesus. The devil has a personal relationship with Jesus. What kind of personal relationship, what is the ground of that personal relationship. Obviously, being a Christian involves having a personal relationship with Jesus but there is content to that relationship. When you lose the Gospel you lose Christ.” (The White Horse Inn podcast, “Interview with R. C. Sproul)

  • Message and Reflection on the Occasion of the Great Feast Day of the Church, Solemnity of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Christ, and St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, the Patron Saints of Rome (
    St. Paul the Apostle, who was once a great sinner and enemy of the faithful, then called and made to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, to be the one to bring the Word of God’s salvation to all mankind, beyond the limitations of the Jews. And so, while St. Peter stood at the heart of Christendom, St. Paul is the brave and courageous evangeliser who spread wide the Christian message.
    Both of them went on to spread the Good News to many parts of the known world of that time, the Roman Empire, together with the other Apostles and disciples of Christ who spread the Word of God to the ends of the earth. They went on to spread the Gospel to many cities, towns and villages across the Mediterranean, facing rejection and persecution in many places, but also acceptance by those who willingly received the Word for themselves.

    They were persecuted by the Jews and the chief priests, who arrested them many times, harassed and tortured them many times, and handed them to the Romans to be jailed and punished many times. And in the end, both St. Peter and St. Paul went to Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire, ministering to the people of God there and eventually was martyred for the faith there.

  • Giving and Receiving (
    The apostle Paul had a tent-making business. However, over time, it was evident that more and more of his time was being given to vocational ministry activities. That required him to receive income from those to whom he invested his life. It became increasingly difficult to run a business and travel and minister.

Reading Acts

[I have started a series on Philippians for the summer for my Sunday Evening Bible Studies. We have temporarily moved the Evening Service to the Sunday School hour for the summer months. Unfortunately, these are not being recorded.]

As is typical of Paul’s letters, he begins by expressing his thanks for the church in prayer.  Most letters in the Greco-Roman world began with some sort of thanksgiving section in order to set the tone for the letter. Here Paul recalls his time with the church, probably going all the way back to his first visit to the city in Acts 16. He likely had other contacts with the church over the years.

The reason for his thanksgiving is the church’s partnership in the Gospel. A “partnership” (κοινωνία) is a close association of individuals, a fellowship. While contemporary English uses the word with the sense of a business friendship, or sometimes as…

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8 thoughts on “Philippians 1:3–6 – Partnership in the Gospel

  1. Pingback: Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul | Free Christadelphians: Belgian Ecclesia Brussel - Leuven

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