Partnership in the Gospel
Topic: Default Passage: Philippians 1:3–8
In our text today, Paul writes a word of thanksgiving for the church at Philippi. Before he prays, or instructs, or challenges them for them – he tells them how grateful he is for them. The main idea he communicates is the special relationship formed through partnership in the gospel. There are three specific things that Paul includes in this section of thanking God for the Philippian Church that we will highlight, and use those as three exhortations for us as a church family: partner together in the mission of Christ, to be confident in the gospel of Christ, and to love one another with the love of Christ.
The doctrinal truth we are taught in this passage is final preservation, or perseverance of the saints. Our confession of faith contains a clear statement on this subject: XI. Of Perseverance of the Saints: We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end: that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
The following passages help us understand from various places in Scripture the continuity of this doctrine in the whole bible:
John 8:31; I John 2:27-28; I John 3:9; I John 5:18; I John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20- 21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9; Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Ps.121:3; Ps. 91:11-12; Phil. 1:6; Phil. 2:13; Jude 24:25; Heb.1:14; II Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; I John 4:4
- What is something that you have been a member of that would be fun to share with the group?
- What are the differences between membership in the church and other social memberships?
- Do you (or have you) ever wrestled with knowing if you have been saved or not? If so, what Scriptures have been meaningful to help assure you of your salvation in Christ?
- How can we know if we are loving one another with the love of Christ?
- Pray for one another that you might be confident in the saving work of the gospel.
- Pray that we would be people actively engaged in the mission of gospel advancement.