TOTAL TEAMMATES (Olympic Lessons 11)  Philippians 1:27; 4:3

TOTAL TEAMMATES (Olympic Lessons 11)  Philippians 1:27; 4:3

My family has always enjoyed sports.  We enjoy watching sporting events and we enjoy competing in them as well.  Many great life-lessons can be learned through athletic competition.  Paul has been using some of them to describe living a faithful Christian life.  We’ve been looking at them in this blog series.  One of the most important lessons we learn is teamwork.  That’s what Paul is referring to in Philippians 1:27 and 4:3.

Paul tells the Philippian Christians they should “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).  “Contending” speaks of standing together to overcome a common foe. It is an athletic term for team work, struggling together, wrestling against a common enemy.  Picture a team in tug-of-war, working together with all their energy to defeat their opponent.  Be it athletic competition or Christian living, those on the same team must work together for the benefit of the team.  “Contending as one” is our common purpose.  Too often Christians compete with each other or pick on each other (Philippians 4:3).

“No man is an island” is true in sports and Christianity.  Even in individual sports, athletes need to work with others in training, coaching, learning, encouraging and mutual support.  Achieving one’s goal all alone is very difficult, even impossible (Genesis 2:18).

God calls us to fellowship with Himself and each other (1 John 1:3).  The Greek word for “fellowship” comes from a word meaning “commonness, partnership, togetherness.”  As brothers and sisters in Christ we are in His family and have Jesus in common.  We share a common partnership to serve Him.  We are all born into His family and nourished on His Word.  We are filled with His Spirit and face the same enemy: the world, the flesh and Satan.  We are guaranteed the same inheritance.  We are on the same team, and we need each other to succeed.  We are like Siamese twins.  To not get along with each other is disastrous!  Like spokes on a wheel, the closer we are to Christ, who is the center hub, the closer we will be to each other.

God has illustrated this concept often in nature: geese take turns leading the way, deer alternating breaking through deep snow, ants and bees cooperate of they don’t survive.  We help each other by praying for each other (James 5:6), forgiving each other as God forgives us (Colossians 3:13; Matthew 18:21p; Ephesians 4:32), encourage each other (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11), restore each other (Galatians 6:1)  and support each other (Galatians 6:2; Acts 20:35).  We’ve all seen pictures of one athlete helping another across the finish line.  I still remember when Derek Redman’s father left the stands to all but carry his son across the Olympic finish line.

One thread can be easily broken, but weaving many together gives strength.  One twig can be snapped in two, but holding a handful gives strength.  Satan’s moto is to divide and conquer but God wants us to close ranks and stand firm.  We need each other.  Jesus Himself needed fellowship with His disciples.  A winning team is not composed of the best individual athletes, but the best members that can work together as a team.

Teamwork with fellow Christians is essential.  You need them and they need you (1 Corinthians 1:10).  God, like any parent, wants His children to get along (1 Peter 3:8).  That’s very important to Him (Psalm 133:1).  It brings Him joy, and it brings joy to us as well (1 John 1:3-4).

Do you know a Christian who is hurting or struggling?  What can you do to help them?

Are you hurting or struggling? Have you shared your need with other believers who can help?  Don’t let your pride, fear or anything else get in the way!  We are all part of one Body and body parts help each other.  When one suffers everyone suffers. 


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(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

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Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024