DAILY DEVOTIONAL, TUESDAY, JANUARY 04, 2022

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FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

For your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:5)

The word partnership in this verse is the Greek word (κοινωνία koinōnia), or as we might say fellowship. J. Vernon McGee, in his work, states that fellowship in the biblical sense has three elements. First is Spiritual communication. This is sharing the great truths of Christ. Next is Sympathetic cooperation. This is working together for Christ. And, finally, Sweet communion. We are partners together with Christ.[1]

Here Paul says that from the very start (his meeting with Lydia) to the present time, they have worked together to get the “good news” (gospel) out to as many as they could.  The church at Philippi had been working on sharing the good news as well as supporting him in his endeavors for Christ.

The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches

For your fellowship in the gospel. (1) Some believe that Paul refers to the Philippines’ participation in the gospel from the first day until now, about 60–61 C.E. when Paul completed the epistle. (2) Others, though, believe that it simply refers to the constant growth of the Christian faith. (3) While others believe it refers to the kindness and generousness in the Philippians Christians contributing with their support of the gospel, as well as their sharing in the activity with others, or sharing their common experience with others, for the preservation and growth of the gospel. Number (3) is the correct understanding.

It agrees with all that Paul says in the epistle and what he says elsewhere of their support. First, he speaks particularly of their kindness, generosity, and their fellowship with Paul in giving and receiving. This was one of the primary reasons for his writing the epistle (4:10–12, 15–18). Second, it agrees with the frequently mentioned (7 times) Greek word (κοινωνία koinōnia) rendered fellowship. It has the sense of one sharing in the activities or privileges of an intimate associate (in this case, Paul) or group (fellow brothers and sisters), especially in relation to the Christian faith. So, fellowship is a close mutual association (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 1:9; 10:16; Philem. 6; 1Jn 1:3); but also, a sharing, that is, participation (2Co 8:4), as well as willing contribution, gift (Rom 15:26; 2 Cor. 9:13) This fellowship between Paul and these brothers and sisters was continually evident in relation to the gospel: (1) mutual association, (2) participation, (3) contribution. The Philippians Christians felt a common concern for the importance of the gospel in everything involved in carrying it out. They revealed this in every way possible, and this was especially true of carrying for the needs of those taking the lead in the work.

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From the first day until now. When the gospel was first brought to them, arriving in Philippi about 50 C.E., the Philippians brothers and sisters had been continuous in their support until about 60–61 C.E., when he completed this letter. The personal testimony of these ones was honorable indeed. Much could be said about a group of people who have been constant and steadfast in their duty to the spreading of the gospel. When we reflect on 1:3-5, we can note that the most incredible joy one can ever have in their evangelism is seeing others walk with God that they helped bring into the Christian faith. The apostle John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 4.

We all need to offer positive reinforcement to fellow Christians, praising them when they do well. The apostle Paul was very vigilant in commending fellow believers that deserved it. One can only imagine the elation that would come from a commendation from the most remarkable Christian leader ever to live. We are not talking about flattery here, for that will only cause injury to the person receiving it. Excessive and insincere praise, especially when it isn’t deserved, will cause more harm than good. The person receiving the praise should know that you are a person that will only commend when it is due and that you will be just as quick to rebuke when they do wrong, or to reprimand when they are in error, and to offer counsel when they have gone astray. Those whom God has blessed with any kind of authority or a brother or sister that has tremendous respect from others should understand that Constant faultfinding, lecturing, or agitation, or unease with another does not help them. This will only dishearten, aggravate, annoy, and discourage. If commendation comes too often, it will seem insincere. It will have the most significant impact if it is held for the right moment. We all are imperfect and live in a fallen Satanic world, so allowances need to be made. Our goal is to promote happiness, which will result in their willingness being boosted. We need to be known as a person more satisfied with others than coming across as dissatisfied all the time.

[1] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. V. (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 1983). P. 291

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2 thoughts on “DAILY DEVOTIONAL, TUESDAY, JANUARY 04, 2022

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  1. Wonderfully good Christian Literature for the longing souls. Very blessed and wish to bless others in my reach if possible.

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