Philippians 1:1-11 – “PAUL and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Jesus Christ who are at Philippi, together with the elders and deacons:2 Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from our LORD Jesus Christ. 3 I give thanks to my God for your steady remembrance of me.4 In all my prayers for you, I make supplication with joy,5 For your fellowship in the gospel, from the very first day until now,6 Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun the good work among you, the same will continue it until the day of our LORD Jesus Christ: 7 And this is the right way for me to think of you all, because I have you in my heart, because through all my imprisonment and my defense and confirmation of the truth of the gospel, you have been partakers with me of grace.8 For God is my witness of how much I love you through the love of Jesus Christ. 9 And for this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all spiritual understanding:10 So that you may choose the things that are excellent; and that you may be pure and without offense in the day of Christ;11 And be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and the praise of God.”

FELLOWSHIP – That is a good word!  It is a Bible word and has such a warm reception when uttered it needs to be kept in circulation as long as possible.  How many times have you heard words like these?  “Come over to the house for some fellowship.  What a golf game!  Man, did we have some good fellowship!  The fellowship after church was tremendous.  Do you need to go and wash the fellowship off your hands?”

FELLOWSHIP – The word seems to have many different meanings, yet it is worthy of our attention and consideration.  I believe that fellowship, like several other biblical words, has been misused, misunderstood, and needs to be rescued because of its immense value.

When we consider the life and situation the apostle Paul found himself, we discover some valuable truths.  Despite his circumstances as a prisoner in Rome, he was rejoicing!  The secret of his joy was ‘singleness of mind.’  He lived for Jesus and the Gospel.  In Philippians 1 Christ is mentioned eighteen times and gospel six times.  In verse 21 we read, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  Sounds single-minded to me.

The question we need to answer is, “What is a Single Mind?”  Among other things, it is the attitude that declares, “It makes no difference what happens to me, so long as Jesus is glorified, and the gospel is shared with others.”  That is singleness of mind and focus. 

Paul rejoiced despite his circumstances because he believed that his circumstances strengthened the fellowship of the gospel.  The Promoted the furtherance of the gospel and it Guarded the faith of the gospel. 

FELLOWSHIP is to have commonality.  True Christian fellowship is deeper than sharing a cup of coffee, cake, cookies, a meal, a game, or shaking hands and having a conversation.  Too often, what we call fellowship is nothing more than acquaintance or friendship.  You cannot have fellowship with someone unless you have something in common with them.  The basis upon which Christian Fellowship is enjoyed and experienced is Possessing Eternal Life – (Jesus – Salvation).

Therefore, unless a person is born-again, he knows nothing of the fellowship of the gospel.  Thus, we discover in Chapter Two of Philippians the Fellowship of the Gospel, and in Chapter Three, we are introduced to the Fellowship of Suffering. 

When we share what we have with others, this is also Fellowship. (Philippians 4:15).  Therefore, Christian Fellowship is much more than having your name on a Church membership roll or attending services.  You can be close to a person physically and be light years from them spiritually.  You can also be away from someone physically and be near them spiritually.

I am going to pause here and introduce three things that the apostle Paul described as being True Christian Fellowship.

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Jesus!

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