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It's a Partnership

We cannot simply work for God while he watches from the sidelines.

Over the next few months, we are going to be dipping into the book of Philippians for its insights into spiritual growth and formation. I hope you'll join me in studying this wonderful letter to an early church that remains as relevant and life-changing as ever. This week we look at several verses in the first chapter.

The goal of the Christian life, it could be argued, is to be transformed into the image of Christ. But how does that happen?

We can take steps toward growth, engage in spiritual practices such as prayer and study, solitude and service. But even these practices are futile exercises without the intervention of God. The practices are just tools that God uses to form us.

In Philippians 1:5, Paul tells the believers in Philippi that he's joyful "because of your partnership in the gospel." What does that mean? Who are they partnering with? One might guess that Paul, the author of the letter, is talking about the church's partnership with him—together, they are advancing the ...

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