[x_blockquote cite=”Philippians 1:4-5 KJV” type=”left”]“4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”[/x_blockquote]
The word “fellowship” in this passage means to have a joint partnership with.
This word fellowship or “partnership” describes a covenant relationship between two parties who have common interests. The purpose of their partnership, or covenant relationship, is to accomplish something neither of them could do alone.
It took both parties, Paul and the Philippians, to accomplish the assignment of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. And in the exact same way, it take you and your pastor working together to do the same.
Paul surely realized that even though he was the one called and anointed by God to lead the ministry, nothing would be accomplished without the partnership of these believers. This church family partnered with Paul in the spreading and preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ from the very beginning through their tithes and offerings. They were his supporters not only in his ministry to their church, but to other churches as well.
- Because they were partners, Paul was doing his part and they were doing theirs.
- It wouldn’t be true partnership if only one party were doing their part.
But as partners together, they were making an eternal impact and advancing the Kingdom of God!
Giving into the work of God is pleasing to the Lord. The Philippians knew this because Paul had taught them as much. So then when the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to travel to Corinth to minister and establish a church there, the saints at Philippi were his financial supporters and partners in this and other ministry assignments. And as we see in the book of 2 Corinthians, the Philippian church were faithful partners even in the most difficult of times.
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Corinthians 8:1-9 KJV” type=”left”]“1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”[/x_blockquote]
The churches of Macedonia mentioned in this passage includes the church at Philippi. And as we see here, even though they were in a very difficult time financially themselves, their heart’s desire was to sow in support of Paul’s ministry, and so they did.
The church in Corinth had also grown, not only numerically, but enough in the things of the Lord that the Gifts of the Spirit were in manifestation and demonstration. However, the Corinthian believers lacked the important revelation of financial partnership. They were not givers like the Philippian church was. So Paul was letting them know that just as the Philippian’s had been his financial partners, it was also the responsibility of the Corinthians to become his partners as well. He let them know that their lack of giving had stopped them from growing any further.
[highlight]And whether you realize it or not, your giving is a direct reflection of your sincerity in serving the Lord.[/highlight]
The Philippian believers were certainly aware of all of the difficult circumstances Paul faced in his ministry, just as the Corinthian church was. However, up to this point, none of these same challenges moved the Corinthian church to stand with their man of God and support his ministry financially. How sad!
Here is how this is supposed to work; You are to faithfully support the man of God and your local church even when things are going great and there is an abundance and an overflow of everything in that ministry. And you are to faithfully support the man of God and your local church even when things appear to be unraveling because of the many attacks from the enemy. Don’t allow either of these issues, or any other issue for that matter, to prevent you from being a faithful and consistent ministry partner.
Today, most believers would be accusing Paul of having something wrong with him, or of not having enough faith because of all these troubles he faced. But real Christians wouldn’t. And the church at Philippi certainly didn’t act this way.
Their consistency in the gospel ministry, and their partnership with Paul was proof to him that they were not stagnant in their relationship with the Lord, but were in fact growing and maturing in Christ. Are you involved with the fellowship of the Gospel? Are you a part of financing the work of the ministry at your church, and supporting your pastor? If not, become involved with the fellowship of the Gospel immediately. Because the blessings of God will begin to abound in your life exponentially when you do.