Read Philippians 1:27-30
Verse 27 is a hinge verse in the flow of Paul’s thought and launches us into what will come next in the letter. His primary call for us is to live a life that is worthy of the gospel.
In these verses, Paul expounds upon four ways that we are to honor Christ in our bodies and live worthily for the gospel.
First of all, in verse 27, his desire is that they would stand firm in one spirit and strive for the gospel.
Read Jude 3: What does Jude encourage us to do and what does it mean?
Why would defending, living, and embracing the gospel be a struggle or a fight? Why do we need to do this side by side? It is going to get harder and harder to contend for the true gospel in our relativistic postmodern culture that denies absolute truth. We need each other. We need to link arms together for the gospel and be bold in our stand upon Jesus as the only way of salvation.
The second big request Paul has comes in verse 28 in that they would not be afraid of opposition. In standing together unified for the gospel, Paul tells them not to be frightened.
Think about a time when you experienced fear when it came to defending or sharing the gospel? Why do you think in our culture there is so much opposition to the gospel? What are some reasons for this?
In verse 29 Paul does not necessarily express a desire for the church, but gives two theological truths that round out the third and fourth ways we can honor Christ with our lives.
Thirdly, he tells us that faith itself is a gift of God. God granted that they should believe.
Read Ephesians 2:8-9. What is the gift of God?
It is grace, salvation, and our faith. The very faith that we had to believe in Jesus was not our own doing. As those who were once dead in our sins, we could not produce the ability to believe in Jesus. God in His sovereign grace had to grant us faith or give us the gift of faith in order to believe.
Fourthly, the other theological truth that Paul expresses, and one that none of us want to hear, is that we are also by God’s sovereign grace appointed to suffer for His sake.
How do you personally handle the theological truth that God has appointed you to suffer for His name’s sake?
Read Acts 14:22
Read 1 Peter 3:14-17
Now we come full circle back to Paul’s anthem in verse 21.
How does Paul echo this statement in Colossians 3:3-4?
As we move forward through Philippians, it is imperative that we stop and begin to think about our lifestyles. We need to ponder how we are living a life that is worthy of the gospel and how that life may bring suffering for the gospel and the need to stand firm.
Another key word that shows up in Philippians besides “Joy” and the “Gospel” comes in verse 27 where Paul uses the term “one spirit”. This is also translated “same attitude”. The word “attitude” shows around ten times in this book. Are we thinking alike? Are we sharing the same values? Do we have the mind of Christ?
Spend some time today asking God to give you the strength to live a life worthy of the gospel and a prepared heart and mind to suffer for the gospel.
Thank you for giving me the gift of faith. And whether I like it or not, thank you that you have appointed me to suffer for your name’s sake. I know it is going to get harder and harder to stand up for truth in our culture. I desperately need You and the strength of other believers. Help me to be unified with my brothers and sisters and strive side by side for the gospel. Let my life be worthy of the gospel as I keep my eyes fixed on You.