Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Partnership for the Gospel

Philip. 1:3-5 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, [4] always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, [5] because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

This morning's devotion will focus on Greek word koinonia from Philippians 1:5. In the NIV, RSV, NAB and HCSB this word is translated partnership. In some other versions such as the KJV, ASV and NKJV the word is translated fellowship. In the NASB and NET, koinonia is translated participation. In the NRSV the word has been translated sharing. In the NLT the word has been translated as partners spreading. My point in sharing with you how all the different English versions translate this word is to show the difficulty in translation. This is why it's important that you look at several English translations when studying the Bible. When several translations disagree then it means the word or phrase likely has several different meanings. This is the case with the word koinonia. In fact, koinonia has even more meanings than reflected in this text. It can also refer to an offering or collection. This is this word from which we get our word coin

I believe the best translation of koinonia is partnership because it best fits the context of the letter. Paul and Philippian church were fellow participants for the advancement of the gospel. In other words, they were in partnership. Their partnership was marked by an intimate relationship with one another. It was based upon mutual love, respect and the common goal of advancing the gospel.

Why am I talking about partnership this morning? Our LVCC family has been granted the incredible privilege and opportunity to enter into a partnership with some dear friends for the advancement of the gospel in Central Asia. I pray that each of you will answer God's invitation to participate by praying, giving and going!

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