"Therefore, if you have any... fellowship of the Spirit..."
In this post, I am continuing to teach through Paul’s letter to the Philippian family of grace.
Remember, Paul’s heart was the family of grace be united together in Christ’s work of grace and united in his love, affection, and compassion for them so they could shine the light of God’s grace into the darkness of the city of Philippi.
To further promote this unity, Paul appealed to the fellowship of the Spirit they enjoyed as individual believers.
What is the fellowship of the Spirit?
Paul, in Philippians 3:3, as well as in letters he wrote to other churches, provides insight for us into what he meant by the fellowship of the Spirit.
In Philippians 3, he writes that we do not relate to God through any religious ritual or requirement, but through the Spirit of God.
Paul says in Philippians 3 that our religious works, heritage, traditions, rituals, and requirements have no power to make us righteous in God’s sight.
The only way we can become righteous before God is by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus.
Paul described all of his previous religious attempts at becoming righteous before God as worthless, saying that none of them compared to knowing Jesus.
As a result, he discarded all of his religious attempts for becoming righteous before God and embraced only what Jesus had done for him to make him righteous before God.
Paul now worshiped God, or related to God in a love relationship, by the Spirit of Jesus who lived in him.
The Spirit of Jesus in him brought Paul into a relationship with God where he called God his loving Father (Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:4-6).
He no longer lived as a slave under the law of Moses, meaning the Ten Commandments, where he related to God as a judge, bringing fear, condemnation, and death.
Rather, as a dearly loved child of God, he now related to God in peace, liberty, and life through the Spirit of Jesus in him (see Romans 3-8; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
The Spirit of Jesus in the hearts of believers writes on the hearts of believers the eternal truths of the new covenant of grace.
The Spirit writes that God is not counting our sins against us, and that we are reconciled to God and righteous before him (2 Corinthians 3:1-6:2).
The Spirit does not write on our hearts the requirements of the law, which would bring fear and bondage.
Instead, the Spirit writes on our hearts the truths of God’s abundant provision of grace, which bring peace and liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
According to Paul, the fellowship of the Spirit is relating to God in freedom through the new covenant of grace by the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us, rather than through the bondage of the old covenant of law which stood outside of us.
By the Spirit, we relate to God in a love relationship rather than through a list of religious rules and requirements.
The Spirit of Jesus writes on the hearts of those, whose eyes have been opened to see the
revelation of God’s grace, all that he has done for us through the new covenant of grace.
Through this revelation of the new covenant of grace by the Spirit of Jesus in us, we are able to discard all of the rituals, rules, and requirements of the religious system we were once in bondage to.
Now, by the Spirit of Jesus in us, we are enabled to enjoy all that God has freely, fully, and forever done for us in Christ as we relate to God in a love relationship.