Philippians 1:27-30 A Life Worthy of the Gospel

By using this word conduct, Paul seems to be taking note of the Philippians understandable pride in their Roman citizenship and by using this particular verb – a verb that would be familiar to these people in another context – he was saying something like this: “You know the pride and responsibility attached to living in a Roman colony: remember that you have a higher allegiance calling you to faithful conduct.”

It is like Paul saying to a Christian who is also a patriotic American: ‘remember, you have a higher allegiance than that to your country. You have an identity far more important and far more consequential than your identity as an American. And your life must clearly reflect that spiritual identity and citizenship.”

And precisely how must these Christians live out their citizenship? Well, Paul says they must live as Christian citizens who are worthy of the gospel. The Philippians knew very well how much it meant to their city to be a Roman colony, a very special kind, an exalted kind of πόλις. They knew what pride they took in their citizenship. So when Paul told them to live as citizens of the community created by the gospel of Christ, they understood in a profound way that Paul was telling them that what Christ had done for them must now become the defining principle of their lives and the pattern of their daily living. Citizens of Philippi thought of their lives in terms of their citizenship. Citizens of the gospel community must do so as well and much more so and in far higher and deeper ways.

We may be Americans. Some of us are men some women, some one race some another, some one ethnic background, some another, some rich and some poor, some highly educated and others not so much, some married and some single, some young and some old. None of these things – not one of them – important as they are in some ways, tells us anything ultimately definitive about us. The thing that matters, the thing that tells the tale about our lives – who we really are; why and how we live as we do is, what shall we say, that we are gospelites, or gospelers, or gospelians. You can read our lives and [we are] living right out of that identity. Our citizenship is the community of faith in Jesus Christ, the commonwealth of those whom he saved by his death on the cross, the nation of those whose privilege it is in this world to live to the praise of his glorious name! That is who we are and that is what we are: that and nothing more!

Robert Rayburn

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 1:27-30. What does it look like for you by the grace of God to live a life worthy of the gospel? What things need to be removed or what worldly hopes need to be given up in order to live out this calling?

Posted on: March 5, 2015 - 10:06PM

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