Partners in Ministry: Paul and the Philippians
May 17th, 2020
Watch online at 10am by clicking here.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.  15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 

Paul is not saying that since he has learned to be completely content in all things and that he can do all things through Christ, that their gift is unnecessary or unappreciated.

Paul is giving the Philippians a commendation for having done a “good, beautiful, pleasant, noble” thing in sharing with him. 

Paul comes back to one of his original intentions in writing the letter, returning to his theme of thankfulness to God for them that he had begun the letter with

It is this partnership, both in the afflictions that come to believers because they are followers of Christ, and the sharing of the work of the gospel that binds them together.  

A second way of building camaraderie and fellowship is working together. 

We are to strive together in the word of the Gospel, as one person, each running our individual race, yet running together. 

15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;

But Paul wants to take them back to the beginning of their partnership with him, when he first preached the gospel to them. 

Paul reminds them that their relationship goes back to the beginning of their salvation; for many of them were saved under Paul’s preaching to them during that first visit.

They were first to give, and they were continual supporters of Paul

The Philippians weren’t merely spectators in the Gospel, cheering Paul on, they were partners in the Gospel.  The friendship of the Philippian church had with Paul was based, not only in their relationship with him, but in their mutual relationship with Jesus and the gospel.

Paul also reminds them that they were the only church that supported his ministry during this time. 

16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.

The Philippians sent a gift more than once for Paul, it means that they walked the 95 miles down the Egnatian Way to Thessalonica. 

In Thessalonica, he decided that a better example for the Thessalonians was for him to work.

Paul’s relationship to the Philippian church was kind of unique.  If there’s a church besides the church in Jerusalem that can claim to have sent Paul out as a missionary on their behalf, it was the church at Philippi. 

17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

Paul is sure to let them know that his motivation is concern for their spiritual growth. 

Remember Paul is alive and remaining to continue with you all [Philippians] for your progress and joy in the faith. 

Paul is looking at their willingness to support the gospel as evidence of their love for God and love for him

God makes sure that everyone has something to give, if they are willing to give it.  One of the greatest gifts that one can give is to give their time.

Help in ministry—whatever ministry the Holy Spirit directs you to. 

I’m sure that there are a lot of ministries that would love to have help. 

When Paul lists his needs during his 2nd, harsher imprisonment in a Roman dungeon, at the top of his list in 2 Timothy 4:11-13 is for people to help him in ministry! 

That’s the primary need for Paul, just like it is in most churches today. 

As people are willing to give of themselves, give of their time, in accordance with the will of God, they will find that they grow themselves in their relationship with God, and that the church body grows.

It is my prayer that our joy will increase more and more, as we  Conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ and stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (from Phil 1:27).  If we choose to do this, God will use us as His instruments to bring people in our community to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  He will use us to bless our community.