Phil. 1:3-7. Fellowship, Defence, and Confirmation of the Gospel.

It is harmonious that thanksgiving should follow ‘Grace and Peace’, as they remember their audience (vv. 2-3). Paul tells them that every time he makes requests on their behalf, he does so with joy (v. 4). Paul then starts with his first of several phrases involving the gospel, in the first case here with their “fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” (v. 5 cf. 4:15; Acts 16:12-20) There fellowship was consistent, and it included financial support (4:10-20). This no doubt gave them confidence to continue to proclaim that the good work begun in them would also continue until completed on “the day of Jesus Christ.” (v. 6 cf. v. 10, 2:16; Rom. 8:30 ) They are in Paul’s heart and thoughts, and rightly so, both as he was in chains, and with another gospel phrase, he acted “in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.” (v. 7ab) Based on the above, Paul was also confident that they all were “partakers” with him “of grace.” (v. 7b)To the doubters they gave a defence, and the initiated they confirmed, for they were all partakers of the same grace (v. 7c).

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