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Philippians 1.3-6 – Gospel Participation Produces Joyous Affection

In American Society we are tempted to domesticate the Gospel through secularization, self-indulgence, and pluralism. We don’t want to abandon Christianity but we marginalize and privatize it. We are more concerned about being comfortable and secure than with the truth of the Gospel. Paul’s thanksgiving was joyful in the fact that the Philippians did not marginalize the Gospel of Christ but in fact participated in it. Gospel Fellowship always exceeds all earthly fellowship because it is rooted in God in an eternal quest. We see Paul’s thanksgiving grounded in 3 things: 1) A Thankful Remembrance, 2) A Thankful Fellowship, and 3) A Thankful Confidence or Assurance. It is not your grip on God that has made the difference or will make the difference in your life, but God’s grip on you. In these 3 verses you learn not to be confident in your goodness, character, history, perseverance, but in God. Paul’s joy and thanksgiving comes not because he attended a hotdog fellowship with the Philippians but because they suffered for something Greater – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is God’s work in us that is a cause for great thanksgiving. Is God Working in you so that you? If he is you will be participating in the Gospel.

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