Lutheran Worship and Resources

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

 

 Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving Painting for the Saturday Evening Post



The Hymn #574            Come Ye Thankful     
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 100 p. 144
The First Lection 1 Timothy 2:1-8
The Second Lection Luke 17:11-19
 

The Sermon Hymn #577      God Bless Our Native Land


Thankfulness


The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer p. 44
The Collect for Peace p. 45
The Benediction p. 45

The Hymn #558     All Praise to Thee - Gounod

In Our Prayers
  • Cancer treatment - Randy Anderson.
  • Wonderful news - C. has been diagnosed and is home. She will have additional help.
  • Pastor and Mrs. Jim Shrader.
  • Pastor K and Doc Lito Cruz - dealing with diabetes.
  • Our military and police.
  • Our media ministries - Alec Satin and Norma Boeckler.
  • President Trump and those who defend the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.


KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.


Thankfulness

Background for the Pastoral Epistles

Professor Lenski has an excellent and detailed introduction to the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) in his commentaries. He offers an explanation for two imprisonments. He won his case and was released from prison. As Lenski says, the turmoil about the burning of Rome was ahead, and there was no real charge against Paul. That allowed him to go to Spain. However, once Nero could blame the fires of Rome on the Christians (because he wanted to clear some land), the Christian Faith became criminal. Paul had a different experience the second time, and he was executed.

The setting for the Pastoral Epistles is not much different from today's world. There is an ominous threat to freedom in general, a clear campaign against the Christian Faith.



KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.


The parallels are many - between these letters, the initial defeat of garrison troops by the Zealots, and the march of Imperial Rome to surround, starve, and enslave the residents. The persecution of Christians there had already taken place, so they were out along the roads and shiplanes establishing new congregations.

America has had many attacks inside and outside our borders. We have many political leaders no better than Nero, and perhaps far worse, because America's mistakes influence the entire world. 

Paul, with considerable insights and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote to the congregations - First of all - his emphasis - 

  1. Supplications
  2. Prayers
  3. Intercessions
  4. Giving thanks

be made for all men, for kings and all in authority.

The Christians were not Zealots. They were quietistic, peaceable and not looking for trouble and rebellion. God had more power over their conditions than the sword did. Their prayers would be answered in time as the Empire became Christian.

We have a lot of influence through prayer and through being peaceful while teaching others. When people speak up for the truth, others are encouraged to do the same thing. 

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

God's aim is not winning in the sense of government, but gathering souls through the power of the Gospel. The Zealots showed how they could draw a powerful army with slaves to encircle their city, starve their own people, and bring the city down - a bad price to pay for defeating the garrison in a short battle. Garrisons were there to prevent revolution, not to engage in one.

The benefits of the Gospel are impossible to measure. They multiply in every direction. The Gospel had a major part to play in our country's founding and its leaders. They were filled with the wisdom of the Bible and God commanding what was good for them (natural law). This was God's will in establishing America and preserving it. 

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 

This is a beautiful confession of faith, probably one known and taught among the congregations. This teaches the Two Natures of God - going back to Genesis 3:15 - (paraphrased address to Satan)

You will injure His foot, but He will crush your head;

and Exodus 2 -

The Angel of the Lord said - I AM. Tell them I AM sent you. John 8 - Before Abraham was, I AM.

7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Paul led the way, through the Spirit, in establishing and building up the Kingdom of Christ, which replaced the Empire of Rome. He emphasized his title because, as Herman Melville said, "The pulpit leads the world."

"What could be more full of meaning?- for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow."

Moby Dick, Chapter 8.

There are many kinds of important work, and the Gospel is most important in teaching its entire meaning and purpose through Christ our Lord.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Trinity 23, 2002

 The Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity, 2022


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo Player:

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Standard Time


The Hymn #4          God Himself Is Present        
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #334            Let Me Be Thine Forever

Be Followers of Christ

The Communion Hymn #316                O Living Bread  
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 309               O Jesus Blessed Lord 



Prayers and Announcements

  • In treatment - Kermit and Maria Way; Randy Anderson; Callie and her parents; Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris.
  • Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, 7 PM Vespers.

KJV Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation [ πολιτευμαcitizenship ] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

KJV Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.





Twenty-Third Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father: we thank Thee that Thou hast hitherto granted us peace and graciously spared us from war and foreign dominion: We pray Thee, graciously let us continue to live in Thy fear according to Thy will, giving no cause for wars or other punishment; govern and direct our magistrates, that they may not hinder the obedience due to Thee, but maintain righteousness, that we may enjoy happiness and blessing under their government, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.






Background for the Sermon on Philippians 3:17-23

The context for today's Epistle is the the righteousness of faith -
Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

αλλα την δια πιστεως χριστου την εκ θεου δικαιοσυνην επι τη πιστει

Be Followers of Christ

KJV Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample [example]. 

Paul is dealing with false teachers, who want to draw the Philippians away from the Gospel. This is naturally going to take place where Paul is the Apostle and those raised on the righteousness of works are there to belittle his message and draw the Christians back into the righteousness of the Law. The majority group can use the backing of the Roman government while Paul remains a focus of their attention and attempts to take them back into the majority at the time. This verse has the meaning of - Always be followers of me and Christ. And always mark (observe) those who also walk with Christ and the Gospel.

The apostates want to make Paul into a self-centered egomaniac, because his Gospel of Faith is against their own righteousness of works. He is saying - All of us who follow the faith of Christ walk in harmony, because of that faith.
Note (mark, observe) that the Faith of Christ is emphasized in Romans 3, Galatians, and Philippians as the ultimate emphasis on Faith. This faith belongs to Jesus because He trusted that following the commands of God the Father would accomplish His mission.

We still use that concept today - how we walk. Some of Jesus' followers were antagonized by His message in John 6 and "no longer walked with Jesus." Doctrine and behavior go together. Jesus knew His mission and walked toward Jerusalem deliberately rather than staying away. He even paced Himself so that raising Lazarus from the dead would trigger the excuses for crucifying Him.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Some will always be drawn away from the Faith of Christ, and it is done by appealing to the flesh, not the Gospel, no matter what they say. They build their cathedrals for the "Glory of God!" They avoid anything that might hurt their attendance and progressively (or regressively) walk about from the Gospel. Some maintain churchly wealth by being radical Leftists (California and NYC). Some are openly antagonistic (in a sophisticated way) toward the Scriptures. When they sent The Episcopalian to me, I noticed that the denomination's paper would have opposing views on the same page - Christ did rise from the dead versus Christ did not.

I traced the long history of Church Growth in ELCA, WELS, Missouri, and more. They said, "No we are not doing that at all. You are lying." And they increased the speed of their downfall. Church Growth is the first booster to drive people directly into the ground, grinning all the way at the thrills and and carnal rewards.

Boomers thought they were the Me Generation, but now we are watching the Me-Me-Me Generation. That's what we said as children when asked who wanted an ice cream cone or another cookie or three. "Me! Me! Me!" That means today, "if that is what you like, it is good."

20 For our conversation [ πολιτευμαcitizenship ] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Lenski says "commonwealth" rather than citizenship. The word comes from the Greek for city or village. "Where do you live?" generates many different answers. In St. Louis, The Hill is an ethnic neighborhood so guarded that houses are only pass on to those who belong. NYC is defined by neighborhoods and schools. Britain found that the name British Empire was a bit too uppity, so it is now The Commonwealth.

The Apostle Paul was a Roman Citizen, a very great and powerful title, which allowed him privileges even while in prison and facing death.

Those who believe in Christ and His teachings are citizens of Heaven on earth, walking on the path toward Heaven.

KJV Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Jesus Christ is that Light, as He preached in the Gospel of John. 

I am constantly impressed, more like oppressed, by all the church organizations which count on failed management methods to recover from decades of neglect in the spiritual realm, as if our citizenship is in the golf club and our light is Peter Drucker.

The issues that annoy us will always be there, but the spiritual treasures of the Scriptures help us see the transcending glory of God's will and His grace. A video on the mysteries of the pyramids proved that they still do not know how ancient engineers designed and built them. Far greater are the mysteries of the Scriptures. They teach us and we marvel, as we should. Only the Holy Spirit reveal the meaning of the Word, and we can never know all of it, or even a fraction. But the basic teachings are clear and guide use in eevery possible way.

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Because the God-Man Jesus Christ is the Lord of Creation, the Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, we look to Him as our guide toward the ultimate fulfillment. In The Pilgrim's Progress, which is a walk toward Heaven, Christian encounters many dangers and threats, making mistakes of his own. But he also finds places of rest and delight, plus answers that come from the Word of God. When imprisoned in the Castle of Doom (much like Bunyan's own prison) Christian is taught to reach into his pocket to escape. There he finds the Promises (keys) that unlock all the doors. They were there all along. So are our worries, depression, and anxieties.

The best prescription is a dose of comforting Scripture readings and prayer. Ephesians and the Gospel of John, plus the Psalms - the great teachings of God's comfort and forgiveness.

 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Bottled Energy - The Lutherans and the USA

 

Some levity...


The 1889 Johnstown Flood should be a lesson, especially since those who lived in the narrow valley also ignored the same signals of bottled-up energy. An earthen dam was created and the spillway, to relieve the dam from overflowing, was taken away, its pipes sold as scrap.

The dam itself was lowered so carriages could go back and forth.

Fish were brought in to serve the needs of the ultra-rich (in the near future) for hunting and fishing. They were opposed to any meddling with their dam.

Devastating rain cascaded down the valley and some tried to warn everyone. One was response was "You are a coward and so is your horse!" Over 2000 men, women, and children died when the dam overflowed the middle, came crashing down, got blocked by debris, and renewed its power.

One writer made the point that a dam stores energy. If it builds up without relief, disaster follows.

ELCA built up energy, just as its partner synods did, but all of it misdirected, polluted, and corrupted. The Lutheran sects are unable and unwilling to teach Biblical doctrine. Cascione thinks relying on CFW Walther, BA, and teaching Justification without Faith, will fix everything. Walther's Calvinism is the disease, not the cure.

Thrivent answers to no one (much like the hunting-fishing gentlemen who protected their dam). 

The sects are collapsing as one, watching one another disappear, working together feverishly to find a way to repair themselves in the flood of departures, the greying of the remaining members, the shrieking of the women pastors.

America is also on the verge. The corruption, evil, and greed are so great, it is startling that the collapse is not more evident. When the energy is released, two things are possible. 

  1. The dream of America in chains is realized, everyone reduced to socialistic slavery.
  2. An overhaul of all the institutions brings down the status quo, in recognition of the merits of the past and the ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

And you thought it could not get worse?


Sunday, November 13, 2022

Trinity 22, 2022

  


The Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Bethany Lutheran Church, 
10 AM Central Time

Player:




The Hymn # 652     I Lay My Sins on Jesus  
                         
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities: 
O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with Thee: 
that Thou mayest be feared, O God of Israel.
Psalm. Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, 
O Lord: Lord, hear my voice.



The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

Collect
O God, our Refuge and Strength, who art the Author of all godliness, be ready, we beseech Thee, to hear the devout prayers of Thy Church, and grant that those things which we ask. faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual 

Gradual
Lord, Thou hast been our Dwelling Place: in all generations.
V. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion: which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. Hallelujah!

      
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 339    All Hail the Power                   

Thankful Always


The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
 
The Hymn #50                Lord Dismiss Us





In Our Prayers
  • Safe travels to those on distant journeys.
  • Pastor K and Doc Lito Cruz - dealing with diabetes; Randy Anderson; Callie and her parents; C.
  • The flowers on the altar and table are for Anita Engleman, Zach's mother.




KJV Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

KJV Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.









Thankful Always, 

Even in Prison



Background
Paul's letter is often called The Epistle of Joy because joyful terms are used so often, 17 times by Lenski's count. Philippi was a Roman colony honoring the name of Alexander the Great's father. It was a wealthy city because of gold and silver mines. Paul's first convert there was Lydia, who owned a business in the very expensive dye (made from snails) used only by those who could afford it. She generously supported  Paul's ministry, so she was a forerunner of Dow Chemical. (See Acts 16:14)

Paul had been awaiting his appeal to the Emperor, which was his right as a Roman citizen. That was developing and therefore a reason for rejoicing. We know very little about this because the New Testament is about Jesus Christ the Son of God, not the Apostles, except for a little background.

Philippians 1:1-2

1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

KJV Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Some more treasure has been dug up - 5,000 coins made of gold, silver, bronze, and statues, in Sienna, Italy. Ditto in England, once controlled by Rome. Paul did not rejoice over gold and silver, but about the Gospel. My impression is that he did indeed rejoice about taking his case to the Roman court, but he had to know that he was not going to enjoy a long life, considering the opposition to him, offending the pagan gods business and the Jewish leaders. 

In the Scriptures, thankfulness and joy are not for material gain. As we get older, we realize that the greatest treasures are everlasting and not something to be locked up in a vault. God turns grief into joy as we realize how much we were blessed - and still are - by believers who have gone before us. That is my promise for mothers - you will be the person most valued by the survivors - and they will wish you could only be with them another hour.

This is poignant rejoicing by Paul, because he knows what lies ahead. As a Roman citizen he had rights in prison, so he had the equivalent of blogging today - a way to reach the tiny community of believers in the Roman Empire, with copies made and preserved.

Note that besides the fraudulent Greek New Testaments - Sinaiticus and Vaticanus - we also have scraps from the heretics of the first two centuries. The Christians were constantly wearing out what they had, copying the Apostolic witness, and burning the worn-out copies to keep them from the false teachers, as much as they could. 

Today the fake scholars use the faked Scriptures to suggest they were the real deal when in fact the Traditional or Majority Text continued and overwhelmed the fakes by the copies produced, the translations of those copies, and those lectionaries. I used a CPH lectionary bound in leather, which could last a century with care. In short, the NewTestament we have goes back to the Apostles who died to give us this treasure. The real New Testament has 5,000 witnesses. The fakes - about five in all.

Of all the literature in the world, the Bible has the earliest witnesses, the most witnesses (genuine copies) by far - an overwhelming number. The Bibl is earlier by centuries, more numerous than anyone can imagine, with many buried by time, like the gold and silver coins of Rome.

It is a well-known fact that the congregations closing down have almost no people but thousands upon thousands of dollars in Certificates of Deposit. A 300-year-old church next to a Lutheran seminary could not stay open. The Gospel rain moves on.

So why does Paul pray about the obvious. Prayer requires faith in Jesus Christ, and everything requested is moved by the Holy Spirit in the Word, and heard. We know from Ephesians 3 that prayers are answered even before we ask, and they have the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer requires genuine faith (not soap opera prayer) and prayer deepens our faith. When we pray for a certain person, even one we have never met, we know and remember that person more easily.


5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Lydia was the first convert in that province, from the preaching and teaching of Paul. "Faith comes from hearing the Gospel Report." Fellowship in the Gospel does not mean donuts and coffee. Koinonia means communion with God through preaching and teaching.

How many churches have fellowship halls? They are used for secular past-times, whether Halloween parties or Super Bowl gatherings or playing cards. Church Growth experts, who made a ton of money, indebted dozens of churches by telling them they had to have a larger fellowship hall. And nobody laughed!

Fellowship in the New Testament means communing with God. The "fellowship of the Holy Spirit" means through the Word we have a bond with God, a powerful bond.

That fellowship is not through land, property, and money but through God's own will. The fellowship they had from the beginning continues, even with Paul in prison.


6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

They may be dismayed at the founder's predicament, but Paul is confident that the Gospel leaven will continue to grow and spread, a good work to spread the Gospel until the End of Time.

He thanks God that others have come into its fellowship. His confidence is firm regarding certain beginners in the faith, and he is so interested in their salvation he rejoices in it as much as in his own, seeming unable to thank God sufficiently for it. He unceasingly prays that he may live to see many come with him into such fellowship and be preserved therein until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall perfect and complete all the defects of this earthly life. He prays these beginners may go forth faultlessly in faith and hope until that joyful day.



7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.


The most prominent loss, but not the only one of the Apostles, revealed this through the Holy Spirit. As much as he wanted to be with them again, they would still carry on the Gospel, no matter what. That became basic to the Apostolic Era. 

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.


The fruits of righteousness are the fruits of the Spirit, all the eternal treasures which are abundant with faith in the Savior.


23. Our life has not yet reached the heights it is destined to attain. We know here only its incipient first-fruits. Desire is not satisfied; we have but a foretaste. As yet we only realize by faith what is bestowed upon us; full and tangible occupancy is to come. Therefore, we need to pray because of the limitations that bind our earthly life, until we go yonder where prayer is unnecessary, and all is happiness, purity of life and one eternal song of thanks and praise to God.

But heavenly praise and joy is to have its inception and a measure of growth here on earth through the encouragement of prayer — prayer for ourselves and the Church as a whole; that is, for them who have accepted and believe the Gospel and are thus mutually helpful. For the Gospel will receive greater exaltation and will inspire more joy with the individual because of its acceptance by the many. So Paul says he thanks God for the fellowship of the Philippians in the Gospel, and offers prayer in their behalf.