A Good Church is a Treasure to Strive For
Topic: Thankfullness Passage: Philippians 1:1–1:11
If you have ever belonged to a good church then moved, you know the hardship of “church shopping.” It leaves a void. You are thankful for the previous church, but long for another place to belong. From prison, the Apostle Paul expresses joy and gratitude in the Philippian church and prays for growth.
A good church is a treasure to strive for.
Using the label “good” could be dangerous because there is no perfect church. Goodness is a sliding scale. But Paul experienced “bad” things in the churches in Corinth and Galatia. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit exposes glaring weaknesses in five of the seven churches addressed in Revelation 2-3.
There are at least three marks of a good church present in Philippi.
- Gospel partnership (v. 3-5). From the first day they received the gospel, they took ownership for gospel ministry. Lydia, the first convert, hosted the church in her home (Acts 16). They also gave generously to provide for Paul’s missionary work and living costs while in prison (Phil. 4:15). There is no Christian consumerism here.
- Grace for life (v. 6-7). When God begins a good work in someone’s life, he promises to keep working until that work is complete. One might think that Paul himself could graduate out of needing grace, but he can’t. The church members are “partakers of grace” with Paul.
- Growth in Christ (v.9). Paul prays for love abounding more and more, along with knowledge and discernment. There is always a desire for more growth in a good church.
Taking It Home: Consider these three marks of a good church personally. How am I taking ownership of the Gospel? Do I have grace in my life for myself and others? Am I committed to growing in faith?
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