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19th October 2023


Christian Relationships

In writing to the Philippians Paul gives us a brief glimpse into the nature of his relationship with his partners in the gospel.
Epaphroditus is seen as Paul’s brother, fellow worker & fellow soldier.
The Philippian church has sent Epaphroditus as a messenger & minister on their behalf.
5 dynamics of Christian relationship we can imitate as we work together in God’s kingdom making known the good news of Jesus.
Today we will focus on what it means to be brethren – brothers & sisters – together in the Lord’s family & kingdom work.


However, I thought it necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, [who has been] my brother and companion and fellow soldier, who was also sent as your messenger to take care of my needs. Philippians 2:25 Amplified Bible


Epaphroditus had been sent to Paul to minister the gospel alongside him but also to minister to Paul himself.
Through their fellowship & friendship deep & lasting bonds were formed. What sociologists call communitas.
As they ministered alongside one another they shared rich spiritual life together as brothers in Christ.
A we serve & minister together as brothers & sisters ‘In Christ’ we grow & mature together.

The idea of being family together in the Lord is a powerful New Testament truth.
Family, brethren or brothers & sisters are all Biblical terms used to express this spiritual reality.
Romans 12 is a passage of Scripture which brings this out well.
Love, care, consideration, deep affection alongside mutual respect & honour are all keys to fostering Christian family.
We are united ‘In Christ’ & held & bound together by living in the Spirit (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 4:1-6).
B.A.S.I.C – Brothers and sisters in Christ. This is our identity & inheritance as Children of God. SELAH

Through our partnerships in the gospel we develop & deepen our sibling bonds.
They are established in Christ & evolved as we work together in the Lord’s service.
Growing in admiration & affection for one another. Promoting a culture of honour.
We honour the Lord when we serve & honour one another. SELAH
Give thanks for your brothers & sisters ‘In Christ’ today. Celebrate them.
May God richly bless my brothers & sisters in Christ, this & every day. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • Who do I greatly admire & have deep affection for in my local church?
  • In what ways am I honouring & appreciating those I am working alongside in God’s kingdom right now?
  • Meditate upon the nature of our sibling relationships in the body of Christ & family of God.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You call me to Yourself & to our family,
Thank you for my brethren ‘In Christ’. Give me a deep affection for each of them.
Jesus thank you that You are my saviour & my brother,
Help me to love, appreciate & honour my Christian brothers & sisters.
Holy Spirit keep me in the bond of peace that unites me with my siblings,
Developing & deepening our love & affection for one another as we work together for the Lord.
This I ask in Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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