Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
I once heard a good response to the question; “What is the shortest distance between two points?” The response was; “Good Fellowship!” When writing to the believers in Philippi, Paul reminded the saints of the privilege of good fellowship; “and the God of peace shall be with you.” Paul is emphatic about the presence of “the God of peace” when he said, “shall be.” The phrase means, I exist, am, have been, or it is I. While we are assured of His faithfulness; “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5); we determine whether there will be fellowship; “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). Within our text, there are two thoughts that I want to magnify with respect to “Good Fellowship.” Please note the quality of fellowship; “shall be with you.” When Paul uses the word “with” it carries a greater meaning than that of in proximity. It denotes accompaniment, amid, companionship implying joint or mutual action, influence, or suffering. Our companion is in fellowship with us because He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15). When Christ “was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7), He became one of us so that He might have fellowship with us. His presence generates good fellowship because of the quality of His companionship.
The second thing to note is the qualifications of fellowship; “think on these things” and “do.” Preceding Paul’s assurance of fellowship, he magnifies two spiritual activities that will insure good fellowship; the first being spiritual meditation; “think.” The word means to take inventory, to estimate, to reason or reckon, to occupy oneself with reckoning. The subjects of meditation is that which is “true”, “honest”, “just”, “pure”, “lovely”, and “of good report.” These subjects are declared to be of “virtue” and worthy of “praise.” When one studies the words “virtue” and “praise” they reveal that the character of these subjects is declared to be excellent and commendable things! The importance of the choice of subjects in meditation is revealed in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The quality of one’s thoughts determines the character of one’s life; good fellowship revolves around good thoughts! Secondly, Peter magnifies spiritual ministration; “do.” The word “do” means to practice, to perform repeatedly or habitually. Paul has exemplified the notable qualities of the Christian life and it is with great expectation that he encourages the saints at Philippi to practice and perform those same qualities habitually so that they may enjoy fellowship with God!
Faith in Christ yields gospel forgiveness, but faithfulness to Christ yields good fellowship and it’s the shortest distance to heaven because when you fellowship with Him, you can enjoy heaven on the way to heaven!