Donations – BT5
Paul’s approach to Christian support of NT ministry
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Maybe the answer is in Philippians 4:9-19 where we really see Paul’s understanding of Christians sharing in support of NT ministry: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things . . . You were actually concerned for me, but you had no opportunity [to show it]. Not that I am speaking of presently being in need – Paul isn’t subtly begging, as we’ve all heard all too often from the pulpit – for I have learned in whatever situation I am, to be content. . . . Yet it was kind of you to presently share/partner (a) [in] my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know [that] in the beginning of the [preaching of the] gospel when I left Macedonia, absolutely in fact, not even one church shared/partnered (a) with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift [now], but I seek the fruit (b) that increases to your credit. I have already received full payment and more! I am presently well supplied, having already received from Epaphroditus the gifts you already sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. Moreover my God shall actually supply your every need down-from/according-to His riches in glory in Christ.” <Notes> a) koinonia, b) karpos: by-product of their one’s nature.
Some will say that Paul is still cleverly asking for even more money, despite what he says, but I believe he is being very grateful, even bragging in them, and wants them to experience even more fruit from the money they have already given. He reassures them that God will take care of them, despite their previous sacrifices. Once again, Paul uses his own life as an example – he isn’t asking them to do anything that he doesn’t do himself. Notice the emphasis on sharing/partnering with Paul’s ministry trials, needs, and in giving and receiving! That is exactly my emphasis in this SpiritMusicMeetups ministry – it’s all about sharing together every aspect of the ministry!