Congregation life is meant to be a blessed partnership between Pastor and people. Christ bids us behold one another in light of the Gospel. Pastor looks upon each member and rejoices, “My Lord has given you as my partners in the Gospel!” Each member looks on the next, upon the pastor too, and confesses: “I need you in my life as my partner in the Gospel! Thanks be to God he has given you to me!” Sadly, we sinners are slow to believe Jesus. Far too often, we’re hopelessly trying to go it alone–or looking for another, different partnership than the one Christ has given…
Philippians 3:1-11 (ESV)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.