Philippians 1:26-30 encourages worthy discipleship, calls for unity, courage against the culture, and warns about the cost of discipleship.
Philippians 1:26-30 calls Christ-followers to be worthy of the Gospel
V.27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…
We sometimes act like we’re doing Jesus a favor by following him. But Paul suggests the opposite. Jesus did us the favor. And our lives should demonstrate appreciation.
The Greek word for worthy is axiōs, which means appropriately and after a godly sort.
In other words, does your Christian walk reflect a Godly lifestyle that is appropriate for a Christ-follower? Is your Christian conduct worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made for you?
REFLECT AND RECORD
What does it mean to live a Godly lifestyle? How should that lifestyle present itself at home, work, church and in social settings? How would you rate your walk as worthy of the gospel of Christ?
Philippians 1:26-30 calls for unity among Christ-followers
V. 27 that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.
Let’s break it down.
The winds of social change are blowing. But God’s word remains the same. And Paul urges us to stand firm with unwavering moral convictions. While our culture flees from them at increasing speed. We’re pulled to go with the flow. Join the crowd. Because we want to belong. However, standing firm will leave you behind a morally moving culture. And you will have to decide. Go or stay?
Spirit is the Greek word pneúma that means wind, breath, life, and Spirit. It refers specifically to the third person of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit–who indwells every Christ-follower. He guides, encourages, convicts of sin, illuminates scripture and creates a spiritual community among Christ-followers described by the Greek word, Koinonia. The spiritual bond that unifies the church.
The Greek word for mind is psychḗ, which means life and soul. The being part of human being. In Philippians Chapter 2, Paul uses a different Greek word for mind that we’ll look at next week. For now, let’s not over think his meaning here. Maybe he’s simply calling for oneness as living souls.
Striving side by side…
The Greek word synathléō promotes the idea of striving, suffering, and working together.
In other words, Christ-followers are individually disciples and corporately the body of Christ. It’s a relationship compared to marriage. And sticks together in good and bad times.
Philippians 1:26-30 calls for courage against the culture
V. 28 not frightened in anything by your opponents.
As Paul said in V. 20, he didn’t want to be ashamed, but full of courage. And now he encourages the Philippians not to fear their opponents either.
Easier said than done, right?
Especially in a morally intimidating culture. One that threatens cancellation to gain support for morals that oppose Biblical teaching. So how should we respond? Compromise on convictions? Hold fast, but remain quiet?
Presently, Godliness and Biblical truth are increasingly labeled intolerant. The moral divide between Christianity and culture grows wider. And simultaneously, puts the two on a head-on collision course.
REFLECT AND RECORD
Share a memory on how you navigated social pressure growing up? How does rejection come into play? What is your greatest concern as a Christ-follower in an anti-Christian culture?
V. 28 This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation
When you live a Godly life, it exposes the ungodliness around you. Because you’re a living testimony that glorifies God. And a witness that influences others by your positive example.
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:47)
However, others may resist and mock your faith. Exclude you from social circles. And try to take you down. Because righteous living illuminates sin. This where God is your refuge.
You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man. (Psalm 12:7-8)
Philippians 1:26-30 warns Christ-followers about persecution
V. 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
Jesus Christ ultimately suffered for our sake. And Paul says those who follow him may suffer too. Jesus said the same thing.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
Christ-followers in other countries already suffer persecution. Although it’s still a religious freedom in America, Christianity has certainly lost favor in the mainstream culture. And is under increasing attack. How should we respond?
REFLECT AND RECORD
Can you remember a time someone mocked you for your Christian faith? How did you respond? How should we relate to others as sinners saved by grace, but disciples of Christ who strive to live righteously?