Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi came to a people in a powerful Roman colony that prided itself in its freedom and status from Caesar. However, this community, while relatively poor, funded much of Paul’s mission as well as the rest of his team. Paul indicated that they “partnered with him” not only in his suffering but in his ministry. This also was a reminder to them that they were partnering with Jesus. Philemon was also a slave owner who needed to learn the grace of God and forgive his servant Onesimus, who would become a great leader in the early Christian community.
Jesus’ people today can share the courage and love of Jesus’ ministry by partnering with the vision and mission of their church. By promoting unity, support, encouragement, and faithfulness God’s people can bring hope to a city focused more on citizenship here than eternal life with Jesus.
“But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Phil 3:20-31)