Read Philippians 1:7-11
Paul started his prayer by giving thanks 1. For his joy in their partnership in the gospel and 2. His confidence in God’s preserving grace. Now thirdly, he gives thanks by having a great attitude in how the Philippian church supported him in his imprisonment.
Listen to how Paul affectionately speaks about this church. He holds them in his heart. He yearns for them with such affection.
What has created this deep bond between him and the Philippian church? THE GOSPEL.
How does the gospel create spiritual community and fellowship? When God saves us He brings us into a family of blood bought brothers and sisters who are deeply united together in love through the gospel.
There is nothing quite like being united in the gospel. Other worldly organizations and associations cannot begin to understand what we experience as the church united in the gospel. Because of what Christ has done for us in the gospel, we can talk about each other this way. We can deeply love one another in the gospel. Because of the gospel, we can be intimately connected to each other in true Christian fellowship.
As we move forward in advancing the gospel as a church, I don’t want us to forget that we are in this “TOGETHER”! There is no lone-ranger mentality for the Christian. Christ has called us to live together as His body. Would we be a model of love and fellowship and unity as we move forward as a church to advance the gospel??
Are you connected with other people at Emmanuel that you can truly say that you are deeply loved by them? Are you involved in a disciple-making small group? Are you giving of yourself to others the way Paul did in the joy of sharing in the gospel?
Spend some time today meditating upon how the gospel creates authentic fellowship and community among us as Emmanuel Baptist Church. Who today are you specifically thankful for in our church? Who do you hold in your heart as a true brother or sister in Christ?
God of the Gospel,
I praise you for the bond of love that your gospel creates. Thank you that you have knit me together with this body of believers at Emmanuel to live out my faith in authentic community. I want to grow deeper into you as I grow into deeper relationship with others. Forgive me for being a “loner” at times and not taking the risks to love others in our body and accept their love for me. Thank you that I have the privilege of advancing the gospel together with this church family and that I am not alone!