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TRUE FELLOWSHIP *By Gregg Bing 1-2

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TRUE FELLOWSHIP *By Gregg Bing 1-2 Empty Re: TRUE FELLOWSHIP *By Gregg Bing 1-2

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Sep 2010, 9:59 am

TRUE FELLOWSHIP*
*PART 2 of 2*
*By Gregg Bing*
*
Paul also enjoyed fellowship with these believers in the ministry of the
gospel. They were in his heart, for these saints shared with Paul in his
preaching and teaching of the gospel, from the first day until now
(Phil. 1:5). How did they share with Paul in this work?
To begin with, they shared with Paul by helping supply his needs. When
Paul departed from Macedonia after visiting Philippi the first time,
theirs was the only church who consistently shared with Paul and
supported his ministry, sending aid once and again for his necessities
(Phil. 4:15-16). Even in his chains, as he wrote this letter from prison
in Rome, the Philippians were still supporting Paul, having sent a gift
by the hands of Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:10,18). Paul spoke of the
Philippians sacrificial giving when he wrote to the Corinthians.
For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond
their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency
that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to
the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves
to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. (2 Cor. 8:3-5)
These saints also shared with Paul in being willing to suffer and endure
the same type of conflict he experienced, all for the sake of the gospel
of Christ (Phil. 1:28-30). Sharing a common suffering often brings
people closer together, even unbelievers. For instance, people who have
a serious illness, such as cancer, often feel close to someone who has
shared the same experience. The bond is even closer when the sufferings
are for the cause of Jesus Christ. In a very real sense, as we suffer in
the ministry of the gospel, we are sharing in the sufferings of Christ
Himself (Phil. 3:10).
Finally, the Philippians also stood with Paul in the defense and
confirmation of the gospel (Phil. 1:7). The ministry of the gospel
involves preaching or proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and Him
crucified so that people may believe and be saved, but it also involves
much more. In preaching the gospel, there is often much opposition,
fueled by Satan himself. The apostle Paul was set or appointed by God,
not only to preach the gospel (1 Cor. 1:17), but also to defend it
(Phil. 1:17). As he stood firmly for the truth of Gods Word against the
adversaries of the gospel, the Philippian brethren stood with him,
striving together for the faith of the gospel (Phil. 1:27).
The church at Philippi also shared with Paul in the confirmation of the
gospel. The word confirmation, according to Strongs Lexicon, means to
make firm, to establish, or to make sure. After people hear the gospel
and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they need to be established
in the truth of the gospel and Gods Word. Though often neglected, this
is an important part of the gospel ministry. After Paul preached the
gospel in a city, he would often return, strengthening the souls of the
disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith (Acts 14:22). This is
one of the key functions of a local church, and a wonderful work to
share together in; seeing believers grow and mature, and become rooted
and built up in Him (Christ) and established in the faith, as they have
been taught (Col. 2:7).
Pauls relationship with the church at Philippi is a wonderful example to
us of true, spiritual fellowship. What was the secret of their
continuing and consistent fellowship in the gospel? They were all
partakers together of grace (Phil. 1:7). Gods grace not only saves us
from our sins, it also sustains us and supplies our every need. It is
sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9). As we yield to the Lord and the
strength of His grace (2 Tim. 2:1), He will work in and through us to
accomplish His will (Phil. 2:13). We can be confident, as Paul was,
being fully persuaded, that He who has begun a good work in you will
complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
When we recognize that true, spiritual fellowship with other believers
is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ, it causes us to have a
genuine longing and affection for one another (Phil. 1:8). As we share
together in the blessings of our salvation in Christ, stand and suffer
together for the cause of Christ, and spread the gospel of Christ to others, we experience a unity and closeness that brings real joy to our hearts and great pleasure to our Lord.

*Lord Jesus, my indwelling Savior,
please express Your life in and through me.
May there be no area of my life
that is just me doing my best or me fulfilling my will.
Also, Lord, be my strength,
enabling me to share these great realities with others,
in Your mighty name, Amen
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Sep 2010, 9:08 am

TRUE FELLOWSHIP*
*PART 1 of 2*
*By Gregg Bing*

The fellowship we enjoy with other believers is a wonderful blessing of
the Lord, but often we take a rather shallow view regarding what
fellowship is. To many, fellowship is basically viewed as friendship and
having fun with other believers. In many churches, fellowship is almost
always associated with the idea of food. Many churches have a fellowship
hall in their building; and what is almost always connected to this
fellowship hall? A kitchen! We speak of fellowship breakfasts or
fellowship dinners as if the two ideas naturally go together. There is
certainly nothing wrong with believers enjoying a meal together, but
fellowship is much more than friendship, fun and food. In this lesson,
we will examine the Scriptural concept of true, spiritual fellowship.
In the opening verses of his letter to the Philippian saints, Paul
writes:
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of
mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the
gospel from the first day until now. (Phil. 1:3-5)
What a love Paul had for these saints at Philippi. Every remembrance of
them and every reminder he had of them caused him to give thanks to God.
They were constantly in his prayers, making request for them all with
joy. It is interesting that, even though Paul wrote this letter from a
prison house in Rome (Acts 28, Phil. 1:7,13), the tone of the entire
letter is one of joy and rejoicing. One of the key reasons is found in
Philippians 1:5.
His joy was for their fellowship in the gospel from the first day unto
now. The Greek word translated for is a word that literally means upon
or based upon. Thus, the basis for Pauls joy regarding these saints was
their fellowship in the gospel.
The word fellowship is translated from the Greek word koinonia. Vines
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words gives the meaning of this
word as communion, fellowship, sharing in common. To have fellowship
means to have a common bond, to have something in common with someone
else, to share together with another. What did Paul have in common with
these saints at Philippi? The gospel! Their fellowship was in the gospel.
The word gospel means good news. It was clearly an important bond he had
with the Philippians for he mentioned the gospel 5 times in the first
chapter alone (vs. 5, 7, 12, 17, 27). What was the gospel that Paul
referred to? It was the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:7): that Christ died
for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and
that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor.
15:1-4). It was the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24): For by
grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it
is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
It was this glorious gospel message that Paul had in common with the
brethren at Philippi.
How did they share in this gospel? First, they had a common salvation.
They believed the same gospel message. They trusted in the same
wonderful person, the Lord Jesus Christ, as their Savior (Acts 16:31).
They enjoyed the same glorious position, spiritual blessings, and hope
in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14, Phil. 3:20-21). What a wonderful fellowship we
have, as believers in Christ, rejoicing together in a common salvation.
These are joys that cant be understood by those outside of Christ. As we
read further in Philippians 1, we find that Pauls idea of their
fellowship in the gospel went beyond just their common salvation.
Just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you
in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and
confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For
God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of
Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:7-8)

*Dear Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your great grace toward me.*
* Just to think that you chose me be for the foundation of the world,*
* and are so gracious even beyond that to allow *
*me to walk in the good works that you did on the cross,*
* your burial, your resurrection, *
* and to know that you have seated me *
*at the right hand of God the Father*
* as you have placed me in Christ.*
* May I become an instrument of *
*Your grace in the lives of others,*
* all for Your glory and honor, *
*in Jesus name, Amen.*
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