Human relationships are a fundamental part of our lives. Almost everything we do affects other people in some way. The words I say, the way I live, what motivates my actions are all parts of my “conversation.” Our first relationships involve those closest to us such as husbands and wives, parents and children and the extended family. However, when we are saved by God’s grace, a whole new area of close relationships comes into our lives. As born again children in the family of God, we are brothers and sisters of every believer in Christ. But within this area of Christian relationships there is one that is even closer. The one we share with believers who gather in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and are committed to following the word of God in faith, is a special kind of relationship. These people are found in a local fellowship similar to the “saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi.”
The manner of life of the believers at Philippi tied them to the apostle Paul and to each other with the blessed bands of the Gospel of Christ. That good news brought a very divergent group of people together in close fellowship. Paul and Timothy had that. Timothy and Epaphroditus had that, and we today have that same blessed fellowship that joins us together. Our joy as believers is closely tied to that relationship we have with other saints of “like precious faith.” This relationship is important for our witness in the world as well as the cause of joy among us. Most problems in ministry come between fellow-laborers who have differing opinions based on personal preferences.