Philippians

Philippians 1:27-30 Worthy Of The Gospel.

Paul was confident and hopeful that he would be delivered from his chains, even though his situation had led to the blessed result of many coming to faith as he defended and confirmed the gospel. In any case, his one desire was that his readers would continue to have their “conduct worthy of the gospel” (v. 27 Cf. Eph. 4:1-3). Here he once again stresses the need for practice that is in harmony with doctrine. The gospel is a message that calls for conduct that is worthy of it. Worthy, that is, of the life, teaching, sacrificial and atoning death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether he might visit or not, he was hoping that when he heard about them, what he would hear was first of all, that they were standing fast “in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. ‘Faith’ here is that set of beliefs which comprise the gospel. It was vital that their minds be engaged in the understanding and defense of the one faith of the one gospel. This is why they needed to have one spirit and one mind, because the faith and the gospel are one, as is the body.

We ought also to not be terrified of our adversaries, mainly because this is the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and He is reigning even now from His heavenly throne until all His enemies are made His footstool (Cf. Ps. 110). For those who think that eschatology isn’t practically significant, they have probably been consumed by one or more versions of pessimism for too long. Such confidence, in the Lord working in and through us, will be for some a proof of their impending perdition and possible repentance and faith. However, this confidence is also part and parcel of our great salvation, “and that from God” (v. 28 Cf. Jude 3). It does not mean that it is without suffering, quite to the contrary. It is those who know they are involved in a war but know the ultimate outcome, who are prepared to enter the heat of the battle as the bearers of the sharp edge of the sword. Paul put forth his own situation as a case in point, and in this respect also he shared the same struggles as the other apostolic defenders (vv. 29-30 Cf. Mt. 5:11-12; Acts 16:19-40; Col. 1:29; 2:1; II Tim. 3:12).

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