God who began a good work... (Philippians 1:1-11)Rosemary Aldis, 21st June 2015
Part of the Great Texts in Context series, preached at a Sunday Evening service
Phil 1:6 is the key verse.
Thank you letters are hard to write. Philippians is such a letter. It is the most personal letter of Paul addressed to churches. That church had sent Epaphroditus and money to Paul. The emphasis of this letter is partnership.
We are partners with our mission partners.
We share together in God's grace.
Called by God, slaves of Christ Jesus
Past, present, even in suffering.
The future - God's grace will go on to the end, until the Day of Jesus Christ. All the yous are plural.
In attitudes - deep love and affection - do we have that kind of love? They entered into Paul's sufferings.
In actions - they sent Epaphroditus and gifts. Should we contact our mission partners? Paul prays for his readers' growth. True love is discerning. We need our priorities right. We need to pray that we will not be stumbling blocks.
Thanksgiving to God
Partnership only works when all are involved.
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Philippians 1:1–11 (Listen)
1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.