Philippians

Philippians 1:27-30 Sanctified Together.

Living worthy of the gospel of Christ is the goal of sanctification. If he could not be present, Paul was still hoping that he would hear of their conduct, that they “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (v. 27). These are the same people who shared in the fellowship of the gospel (1:5), stood for the defence and confirmation of the gospel (1:7), laboured for the furtherance of the gospel (1:12), to now also walk worthy of the gospel, for the faith of the gospel (1:27). It is clear that Paul is concerned with furthering the gospel message, and ensuring it took root. Sanctification is something we are all called to (Eph. 4:1). Part of this sanctification is standing fast with “one spirit, with one mind, striving together.” (V. 27 Cf. Eph. 4:23) There is clearly a corporate aspect to this. As Jude put it, “concerning our common salvation,” we need “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (v. 3)

Part of this standing fast, striving together, labouring, and contending, is also refusing to be terrified by our adversaries, which will be a sign to them of a proof of their perdition (v. 28). Perhaps some will repent because of this, but all will know their end if they don’t. In any case, we need not be terrified, because our salvation is from God-it does not depend on our doing. As Paul will go on to say, we work out our salvation with fear and trembling Godward, because He is at work in us (2:12-13 Cf. Eph. 2:8; Col. 1:29). A proper fear of God takes away any fear of our adversaries. Paul also makes the hard point that we are also destined to suffer for the Lord, for any who would follow the Lord will have enemies. It has been granted to us to suffer for His name (v. 29 Cf. Mt. 5:11-12). “Yes, and all those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (II Tim. 3:12) In this Paul’s readers were also sharing in the conflict with him (v. 30 Cf. Acts 16:19-40; Col. 2:1).

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