Sometimes people get all wrapped up in a situation because of past mistakes or bad acquaintances, sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A high school boy entered the restroom and was in the stall with the door latched when a small gang of students entered and began smoking joints and spraying paint on the mirror and walls. He froze in the stall for a few minutes out of fear, but when it didn’t seem like the other boys would be leaving anytime soon, he finished his business and exited the stall. At that moment, a school security guard entered the restroom because he smelled the pot smoke and spray paint in the hall. In the few minutes those boys were in the restroom, they had filled it with smoke and graffiti. From the security guard’s perspective, it looked like all the boys were involved and caught red handed breaking school rules and property. But unbeknownst to that guard, one of those boys had not participated in those actions, he did not partake in the crimes.

Paul accuses the believers in Philippi of being partakers with him of grace. Phil 1:7 “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.”

J. Vernon McGee writes this about that verse:

“Partaker of my grace” brings us back to the word fellowship. It is koinonia with a preposition that intensifies it: suqkoinonous, meaning “being all wrapped up together.” You may remember that lovely Abigail used these words when she talked to David: “… but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God…” (1 Sam 25:29). Paul is saying that he and the Philippians are all wrapped up together as partners in the gospel.

Believers get wrapped up in the partnership of the gospel. This isn’t a burden to be caught in, it is a gift of grace. Believers partake in God’s saving grace and their lives get wrapped up in the mess of defending and promoting that grace. How about you? Would someone who stumbled upon your life accuse you of partaking in the gospel of grace?

Pastor John Riley

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