“27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”
Worthy of the gospel of Christ. What does that phrase mean? So far what we have seen in Philippians is Paul's reminder that Jesus is Lord. God has been working in them and through them. And ultimately that “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Jesus is truly everything to Paul, and should be everything to us. What we prioritize will motivate how we live.
What's interesting about this passage is that in order to live out that truth of Christ being everything, we are called to a few things. Stand in the Spirit. Be united. Don't be afraid. Suffer for Christ.
Those first few mandates get me excited, but I'm not too sure about the last two. Don't be afraid, even if there is an enemy “who opposes you?” How can I do that? Paul, are you sure that God has granted to me struggle on behalf of Christ?
The beautiful truth that offers hope is there in verse 28 “You will be saved-and that by God.”
No matter what happens, what we go through, what we suffer, there is hope. Jesus always wins! And we are on the winning team. God has promised us salvation, and He keeps His promises.
How can we stand firm and be united in these times? Ask God to show you how you can encourage your fellow believers.
Do you see your suffering as something God has allowed? How can your present sufferings be on behalf of Christ?
Finally do we trust God's salvation “whatever happens?” Let's ask Him to grow our faith in His deliverance.