A Fresh Look
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
That the apostle Paul enjoyed a pleasant, peaceful relationship with the Christians in Philippi is obvious throughout the letter. Also, it appears to be, there was no major doctrinal crisis or dissension in the church (exception, see Phil. 4:2).
Yet, peaceful experience and good relationship doesn’t rule out the need for practical admonition and commands about daily living.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
Paul had this great interest of heart, that the Christians in Philippi would continue to live up to the high standards of Christ on a daily basis. Thus, Paul wanted to know about them, whether he was present or absent. He wanted to hear that they were standing together under the authority of Christ, side by side, for the faith of the gospel.
This is what every Christian wants to hear about every other Christians. This is what I want for the readers of this article. And this is what you want to hear about me.
Likewise, Paul didn’t want his brothers and sisters in Philippi to be “frightened” by opponents. Paul said – the fact you have opponents only shows further, they are headed in the wrong direction; and you are headed in the right direction.
And, “it has been granted to you, that for the sake of Christ, you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”
The richness of our faith is evident, when we consider persecution and suffering “for the sake of Christ” to be a granted privilege, not a realistic drudgery.
As the Philippians suffered, they were engaged in the same conflict, the same battle Paul was part of. To be well engaged, it was essential for them to let their manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.