Close Menu X

Gospel-Shaped Love is God-Glorifying Worship

Gospel Partnership Series

Gospel-Shaped Love is God-Glorifying Worship

Here is an excerpt from "Three Features of Healthy Gospel Partnership: An Exposition of Philippians 4:14-18":

While Paul certainly appreciates the tangible blessing of being “well supplied” [Philippians 4:18 ESV] with necessary provisions for his daily life, he cannot and will not reduce the exchange of gifts to a mere charitable transaction among men. In this particular exchange, the Philippians are the giver and Paul is the beneficiary of their gift, but the ultimate audience is Almighty God. And although a practical gift is changing hands, as Epaphroditus takes the gift from Philippi and puts it into Paul’s hand, something much bigger is happening: “a fragrant offering” [Philippians 4:18 ESV] is rising up in the very presence of God. Christian love is like sweet incense in the heavenly temple! This act of love is a pleasing sacrifice in the presence of the Holy One, this generous sharing of resources is an act of worship that is acceptable in the courts of heaven.

Brothers and sisters, when – as a result of our faith in Jesus – we give generously to support our missionaries and one another for the sake of the gospel, we demonstrate that Jesus is more valuable to us than our money, we demonstrate that the advance of Jesus’ gospel is more important to us than our self-advancement, we demonstrate that the comfort of our gospel partners is more significant to us than our self-comfort, we demonstrate that the building up of Christ’s church matters more to us than the building up of our own little economic kingdoms. And when we lay down our lives and our resources in order to serve the interests of our fellow Christians, we are demonstrating that the gospel of Christ’s costly love for us has so captivated our hearts that it is transforming us into people who gladly bear the cost of Christ-like love for others. And when that happens, God is pleased!