Summary: This is a sermon about cooperating as a church to get the gospel to the ends of the earth.
The Fellowship of the Gospel
Jailhouse Religion #3
1. What is true Christian fellowship?
2. We call many things fellowship:
a. Come on over to the house so we can fellowship!
b. We sure had a good time of fellowship at the lake.
c. Let’s get a bite to eat and have some fellowship!
3. True Christian fellowship is really much deeper than sharing coffee and pie.
4. Too often what we think is fellowship is really only acquaintanceship or friendship.
5. In the Bible, a much neglected picture of the church is that of a fellowship.
6. A fellowship consists of a group of all people that are all dedicated to the same cause doing things together to advance that cause (the Fellowship of the Ring).
7. People who are really involved in the fellowship of the Gospel will put aside their personal rights and opinions for the sake of the Cause of Christ!
8. They will serve faithfully for the sake of the Cause!
9. They will share financially for the sake of the Cause.
10. In the book of Philippians, the word fellowship occurs three times:
a. In chapter one, we are to have a fellowship in the gospel 1:5).
b. In chapter two, we are introduced to the fellowship of the Spirit (2:1).
c. In chapter three, Paul expresses his desire to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings (3:10).
d. In chapter four, the same Greek word is translated communicate; Paul was thanking them for communicating with his affliction--as they partnered with him in prayer and giving financially.
e. In I John 1:3-7, we are reminded of our fellowship with the Father and the Son and how to stay in this fellowship.
f. In Ephesians 3:9, the fellowship of the mystery (similar to the fellowship in the gospel).
g. In II Corinthians 8:4, Paul shared his burden for the fellowship of the ministry.
11. So you see, true Christian fellowship is much more than having our name on a church roll or even being present at a meeting every now and then.
12. God wants Believers’ Baptist Church to be a fellowship in the Gospel, dedicated spreading the gospel to every creature.
I. The People of the Fellowship (v. 1-2)
A. The Saints (v. 1)
1. He said he was writing to all the saints, then he thanked God for their fellowship in the Gospel.
2. He was, in effect, saying that every church member of the church at Philippi was a part of this fellowship.
B. The Shepherds (v. 1b)
1. Notice that it says all the saints with the bishops and deacons.
2. A fellowship must have unity, or it will dissolve into several little kingdoms and get nothing done!
3. In III John, that apostle had to rebuke someone in the church to which he was writing, Diotrephes, who "loveth to have the preeminence among them."
4. What was the problem? He was dividing the fellowship of that church--creating disunity.
5. If I encourage you to follow me contrary to Christ, that promotes my own kingdom and therefore hurts the fellowship in the gospel.
6. If anyone else in our church encourages you to follow their teachings or practices contrary to God, His word, and your pastor’s preaching, he is hurting the fellowship in the gospel!
7. The saints and the shepherds must work together and, in fellowship, are equals in many ways (like the knights of the round table).
C. The Saviour (v. 2)
1. He provides the means and the power for unity in fellowship.
II. The Product of the Fellowship (v. 6)
¡ï Through our fellowship in the gospel (really being a part of our church in every way), God will do:
A. A Sovereign Work--"He which hath begun..."
B. A Sanctifying Work--"a good work in you"
1. This phrase, "hath begun a good work in you" reminds me of a couple of other Bible verses.
2. Ephesians 2:10--"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
3. II Corinthians 5:17--"Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
C. A Successful Work--"will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"
1. That means that until the Lord returns, God will be working on all those that are connected to this fellowship in the Gospel.
2. You can separate from this fellowship and God will have to quite perfecting and start punishing you!
3. But, thank God, "Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (3:20-21).