Christian Way of Life, Philippians 1:27-28 and Philippians 3:20
Tod Kennedy, September, 2010
Philippians Chapter Titles
- Paul exploits pressure
- Live out your own salvation life
- Pursuing knowing Christ
- Stability, contentment, and joy
Philippians 1:27-28, live worthy of the gospel of Christ
Paul instructs the Philippian believers to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” The verb in this verse is poleutomai. The form is present middle imperative, second person plural. The verb means to be a citizen, to administrate a corporate body (to rule), and to conduct one’s life or to live. This is not the common word for living or even for conducting oneself. Paul has drawn on the idea of spiritual citizenship. Believers are citizens of the body of Christ, the church, within God’s kingdom. His plea is that they will live like a citizen who participates in the gospel of Christ—those who believe the gospel and are committed to furthering it and God’s kingdom. Therefore, three overarching principles must characterize believers during the church age. Philippians 3:20 says our citizenship (politeuma) is in heaven.
- Stand firm in your spiritual position of strength in Christ—heavenly citizen heritage. This refers to our unique oneness or commonness of spiritual life in Christ. It is what we possess because we are in Christ (Philippians 1:27). sthkete en eni pneumati stekete en eni pneumati.
- Strive together for the gospel faith—heavenly citizen mission. We actively serve together for the faith like athletes who train and compete in athletic games. This is what we do (Philippians 1:27). mia yuch sunaqlounte~. mia psuche sunathlountes.
- Do not be frightened by our spiritual opponents—heavenly citizen courage. This is what we are not to be. The opposite of this is to possessive and practice spiritual courage or faith in action to please God (Philippians 1:28). mh pturomenoi me pturomenoi.
So What? Lessons
- Just as we are citizens of an earthly country with all that that means, so we are citizens of God’s kingdom and the church. Let’s live like that.
- Know, believe, and apply the truth of our position and oneness in Christ and all that we are and have because of our position. This is our biblical heritage. No one and nothing can take that away from us.
- Every believer is in full time Christian service. Though we are individuals we all serve within Christ’s spiritual body, the church and we ought to serve as a team.
- There are many things to fear. We believers are related to the creator, planner, provider, protector, and sustainer. We concentrate by faith on God and reject living in fear and off balance because God will never leave us or forsake us.