Concerning Giving and Receiving… (Communication, sharing and partnership)

Phil. 4:15-  Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church ‘communicated’ with me concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

Gal. 6:6-  Let him who is taught in the word ‘communicate’ in all good things with him that teaches.

Philemon 6-  that the ‘communication’ of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

When we think of the word communicate, we normally think of that which is spoken with words between two or more persons.  But here, in these scriptures in the King James, the word “communicate” is the greek word “koinonia.”  Here is a complete description of this word:  “sharing, unity, close association, partnership, participation, a society, a communion, a fellowship, contributory, help, i.e. the brotherhood.”

In Phil. 1:7, Paul wrote –  just as it is write for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart,…you are all partakers with me of grace, or literally, partakers of the grace of God in his life and ministry.  The main word used in the above three scriptures concerning communicating with Paul, is “sharing, or partnership.”  Paul was acknowledging throughout his book to the Philippians, how grateful and thankful he was that they were partaking, sharing, and partnering with him.  It was not just because He had need, for he had learned how to “be abased and how to abound.” (4:12)  His dependency was still on the Lord, but he recognized that even when they desired to give, they lacked opportunity. (4:10)  Sometimes people have a desire to give, or the Father has placed someone on their heart to support, but they do not have ample opportunity to do so.  Many churches Paul fathered and gave oversight had not even have desire to support his apostleship, even when they had opportunity.  So. Paul was commending this great church in Philippi for their generous support.

In the amplified bible, Phil. 4:15 reads like this-  And you Philippians yourselves well know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership with me and opened up {a debit and credit} account in giving and receiving except you only.  Vs. 16-20-  For even in Thessalonica you sent {me contributions} for my needs, not only once but a second time.  Not that I seek or am eager for {your} gift, but I do seek and am eager for the fruit which increases to your credit– the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to you account.  But I have {your full payment} and more;  I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me.  {They are the} fragrant odor {of} an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights.  And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever–through the endless eternities of the eternities.  Amen, so be it.

In other words, they were not just giving Paul an occasional offering to help him along, but they were literally “partnering” in being involved with his apostleship through partnership.  Their communication was to to open a “debit and credit” that is, be open and generous in their support of whatever he needed to accomplish his goal, even when he was in prison.  No other church had entered into this kind of agreement but these in Philippi!  Wow, what a statement!  Many times churches get caught up in “in house” ministry that no seed, no sharing, no communicating is going outside of the house.  Many local assemblies get bogged down in administration and maintenance because they simply do not reproduce or give outside of their own pursuit.  Apostolic ministry cannot put a demand on the churches they serve, else that would take away from the nature of their servant leadership.  But Paul as a father, was simply reminding them and encouraging them, that their service to him was not in vain.  Communicating with apostolic ministry “outside the house” relationally, ensures that God will keep the flow of finances coming into the house.  Churches that “partner” and share willingly with those that have them in their heart will flourish. 

That’s why this same apostle Paul wrote this in Gal. 6:6 (Amp)-  “Let him who receives instruction in the Word {of God} share all good things with his teacher– contributing to his support. Then, this prayer of the apostle will be fulfilled today:
Philemon 6 (Amp) {And I pray} that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding {thing} that is ours in {identification with} Christ Jesus– and unto {His glory}. Amen and Amen!!

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