• Matt Beaney

#136 – PARTNERSHIP IS LOVING THE GOSPEL TOGETHER (29/6/20)

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)





‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 1:3-6)

Paul thanks God for the ‘partnership’ that he sees in the church at Philippi.

Partnership comes from the Greek word ‘koinónia’ often translated as ‘fellowship’. Partnership is to be united and working together toward a shared goal. Fellowship is so much more than hanging out, having fun together, eating together as important as these things are.


Recently I watched a documentary series about Michael Jordan the great basketball player. He worked hard to inspire the team to work together, to be their best in order to win the prize. I wonder if this is how we see church partnership or fellowship?


Partnership is loving the gospel together

In the book of Philippians, we see that partnership, firstly, is about loving the gospel together - loving the message of the cross together. Many clubs and churches can focus on unity around various things. However, the church is to be united in and celebrate the gospel together.


When we see a person or church loving the gospel, we are seeing the ‘fingerprints’ of God. Only by the power of God do we come to love and partner in the gospel.


RESPONSE

Are you thanking God for the partnership in the gospel that you are seeing in your local church?


Do you seek to partner in the gospel as a priority or are you more concerned with matters of style, types of people, buildings, serving your needs…?


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – PARTNERSHIP IS THE FINGERPRINT OF GOD


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Quiz Night



We are planning to hold an online quiz night on Tuesday 7th July starting at 8pm.

This therefore means that Community Groups won't be meeting for that week.

More details to follow!





Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Who was your first 'best friend'? Why were you friends with them and are you still in contact?


Introduction - please share in your group

‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 1:3-6)

Sunday's message was entitled 'Partnership is the fingerprint of God'. Partnership is a key theme of Philippians.


How do you think most people would define fellowship?


Partnership comes from the Greek word ‘koinónia’ and is often translated as ‘fellowship’. It means to be united and working together toward a shared goal. In Philippians we see three aspects of fellowship:


1. Partnership is loving the gospel together

This is believing in and loving the gospel together. Many clubs and churches can focus on unity around various things. However, the church is to be united in and celebrate the gospel together.


2. Partnership is sharing the gospel together

Paul teaches that partnership is also about sharing the gospel message - seeking to make Jesus known outside of the church community. Paul writes,

‘The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.’ (Philippians 1:18)

When we see an individual or church community that is loving and sharing the gospel, we are seeing the fingerprints of God.


3. Partnership is giving to the gospel together

Partnership is loving and sharing the gospel together, but it is also giving, financially’ to gospel work. This letter is, partly, a thankful response to a recent gift to the Paul in prison. Paul writes,

‘Yet it was good of you to share (‘partner) in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared (‘partnered’) with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;  for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.’ (Philippians 4:14-16)

Which aspect of partnership do you find most challenging and why?


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?

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