Summary: I’m looking for partners. Not just friends to keep me company but partners to share God’s vision and work side by side with. Learn how to turn your relationships into partnerships.
“A Study in Philippians”
“Turning My Relationships into Partnerships”
I. My personal relationships can become biblical partnerships.
“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3-5 (CSB
The reason Paul bubbled over with positive feelings for the Philippians was related to the way that the Philippians had chosen to partner with Paul in the gospel.
Partnerships can make or break your relationships with other Christians. Why?
Because We Christians are so different from one another. Every Christian is different and unique. No one is a cookie cutter. We have different personalities, different backgrounds, even different convictions.
As Christians we don’t have to have everything in common to be partners, but we do need to have a few important things in common.
If we don’t have these certain things in common, then we may have a relationship in the gospel but not a partnership in the gospel.
What did Paul’s partnership with the Philippians look like?
• Both Paul and the Philippians served the same gospel.- V.5
• Both Paul and the Philippians supported the same goal. – V.5
• Both Paul and the Philippians were striving for spiritual growth. – V.6
• Both Paul and the Philippians shared God’s grace. – V.7
The way the Philippian Christians had participated in the gospel brought Paul joy.
How had the Philippian believers participated with Paul in the gospel?
1. The Philippians received the gospel by opening their hearts. - Acts 16:11-14 (Lydia’s conversion)
2. The Philippians received Paul by opening their homes. – Acts 16:15
3. The Philippians resourced Paul by opening their wallets. – Acts 4:15, 18
II. When my personal relationships become biblical partnerships I can experience genuine fellowship.
• When a relationship becomes a partnership our minds are filled with good thoughts. – V.3
Things like gratitude and joy become the prevailing atmosphere of our mental life.
• When a relationship becomes a partnership our hearts are filled with tender affection. – 7-8
• When a relationship becomes a partnership our prayers are filled with joy and hope – v.9-10
III. What can I do to develop partnerships?
1. See Each Christian As A Work In Progress.
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 (CSB)
This means I can trust God to work in my friend’s life. Since it was God who started the good work in my friend’s life, I don’t need to pick up the project halfway and try and finish God’s work for him.
Trusting God to finish the work he began in my friend means it’s not my job to try and be the Holy Spirit for them.
I can grant my friend some margin and mercy and remember that each of us is a work in progress. None of us has arrived.
We’re all under construction.
2. Pray For Each Other.
“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11 (CSB)