When Paul uses the phrase “partnership in the gospel” in his letter to the church in Philippi (Philippians 1:3-11), he is describing:
- The impact the Gospel has had, is having and will have on their lives.
- How the Gospel brings people together as a community (the church).
- The common purpose (mission) the Gospel then gives to the community.
The Gospel is both the means by which a person enters God’s kingdom as well as the way we live in the kingdom. The Gospel is necessary for justification (being declared forgiven and righteous by God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross), it is the means for our sanctification (the process of becoming more like Jesus) and it is the means for our glorification (at the return of Christ).
(A more thorough description of the gospel can be found on our belief’s page)
The Church is not an event although it might have events. The church is not a building although the church might use a building. The church is not a program or a system or even an organization, although the church might use all of these things to carry out its God intended purpose. The Church rather is a Community of people that have been joined together by the Gospel, in local expressions down through history, for the sake of the spread of the Gospel across the nations.
God’s purpose for His Church is to live on Mission for His glory, by making disciples of all nations through the proclamation of the Gospel. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Paul reminds us that those who have received the ministry of reconciliation have been sent back out as ambassadors for Christ to proclaim the message of reconciliation: God is literally “making his appeal through us” (v20).