The Fellowship and Joy of Believers
1. In this first part of the chapter we find Paul writing to the saints at Philippi. You will notice in (vs.4), the word, "joy." It's obvious from what he says in this passage, that even the very thought of these dear brethren brought him great joy.
a. Let me add, the joy of which Paul speaks cannot be obtained by worldly or outside influence.
2. We, who know the Lord, have something the world knows nothing of; it is a common fellowship in the gospel. The word "fellowship" simply means, "to have in common." Notice again (vs.5), he was thankful for their fellowship "from the first day until now."
a. Fellowship is much deeper than sharing coffee and pie with someone. You cannot have fellowship with someone unless you have something in common; and for Christian fellowship, this means the possessing of eternal life.
ILLUS: My brother came by to pick up my mother yesterday. As we were "fellowshipping" I asked him, "Do you ever get together with any of your former firefighter friends?" He said, "Not really. I don't have much in common with them." He went on to say, "I attended a lunch fellowship with several of the retired firefighters not too long ago. It was my first and last experience. All they did was talk about their declining health, complain about their pains and aches, and tell off-color jokes." He said, "I felt like a "fifth wheel. We had nothing in common."
3. Let me tell you, if a Christian can be comfortable in an atmosphere of unsaved folks, there is something wrong with his spiritual life: James 4:4, "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
4. I want to give you three things I see in this passage, as we consider our message, "The Joy and Fellowship of Believers."
I. PAUL REMEMBERS THE SAINTS
1. Please notice once again, (vs.2), "I tha ...
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