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. Philippians 1:27
What does living a life worthy of the gospel look like? In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Paul writes that Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers, “to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The glory of Jesus is our gospel, for in Him we find the good news that God sent Jesus to come to die for our sins. In coming to Him, we find forgiveness, purpose and eternal life.
As recipients of this marvelous grace, our lives must look different. Paul tells us to live a life worthy of the gospel, one that puts the spotlight on the glory of Jesus, not our own glory or agenda. There are at least three ways to do this contained in Philippians 1:27-28:
- Standing firm in one spirit. In Ephesians 6:10-18 we saw that to stand firm and not be dashed about by the troubles of this life, we must be dressed in the armor of God. But here Paul adds, “in one spirit.” That means that we stand with others who are fellow believers, finding common ground in Jesus, and battling alongside of them during the tough times. And rejoicing with them in the good times.
- Striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. Our standing together isn’t just to cheer each other on during the tough times, it is to spread the gospel. It is so easy to be self absorbed and preoccupied with the things of this world, rather than to be about our Father’s business. We are to be kingdom minded, understanding that we are in service of the King. We must not be so busy sitting in bleachers at kid’s games or vacationing, or just working to pay the bills that we miss the grander purpose that God has for our lives. And if you’re not in church, you won’t be able to do this!
- Not frightened in anything by your opponents. Jesus said it over and over that because the world hates Him, they will hate us. He warned of persecution for His name’s sake and of how things will get worse and worse (check out 2 Timothy 3:1-5). In the middle of this opposition, His word is “do not fear.” Don’t let the haters wear you down. It is tempting to want to become a “bubble boy” and withdraw because of the threats to our well being. But the call here is to not retreat, but to advance the gospel.
To live a life worthy of the gospel we are to stand together, strive together, and to sing songs of faith and courage to one another. When we sing hymns and worship songs, we aren’t just singing to God, but we are affirming what we believe and will die for to each other. We are singing to our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, the church words like “I’ll never, no never, no never forsake” from the hymn “How Firm a Foundation.”
So stand, strive and sing to live a life worthy of the gospel.