“Just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.”
“you all are partakers”
“Partakers” means partners. The Philippians were part of Paul’s gospel team even though hundreds of miles separated them. God never intended that one individual do all the serving and producing. That is the point of the allocation of spiritual gifts to every believer. We are all partners and on the same team. That is why every believer is a priest and an ambassador of Christ. The life of every believer has definition and purpose.
There are not many Christian articles about the person who goes to work every day and lives out his routine. No one writes about ordinary events: “The thrilling story of his ride downtown on the bus and how the air conditioning went out, which almost caused heat prostration!” No, people do not write about the daily routine. They are much more likely to write about an overseas adventure.
No matter how much monotony people may have in their lives, if they are serving Jesus Christ, they are in partnership with believers all over the world. No matter how much we may be in a rut, our lives are just as meaningful as that of any person on the mission field or in any other area of Christian service. It is just as challenging to live a conventional life as a life of adventure.
It is a great strain for sportswriters to write about linemen. It is much easier to write about the 80-yard run and how many touchdowns were made. Without great linemen, there would be no great running backs. The “silent partners” of the apostle Paul were the Philippians. Without people who give to Christian work and those who work behind the scenes, we would accomplish little for the cause of Christ. Many of the Philippians had routine experiences, yet they were partners with the great apostle Paul. Paul traveled all over the Roman Empire, yet many of the Philippians did not get much farther than the outskirts of the city.
A church requires a team.
Some Christian leaders think that they are the whole team. The leader is just one member of the team. Paul had enough sense to realize that he needed people.