Living Worthily of the Gospel
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…” (Phil. 1:27)
Can we ever be worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it possible to live so above sin that God would be impressed with our lives to the point of giving us salvation? NEVER!
Since we know that we cannot earn salvation, nor can we do enough good things in our lives to impress God so much that He would look over our sin, how do we deal with passages like this one?
The church at Philippi was hurting. They were bombarded with brethren who promoted all kinds of negative attitudes. In the first chapter Paul deals with the scorn that some of the brethren had for him. It was so bad that some of them were preaching the gospel in hope that it would cause Paul even more trouble. Graciously, he replied, “…The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I will rejoice.”
Throughout his conversation with this church, Paul continues to support a pure and positive attitude. It would be very easy for the brethren at Philippi to become discouraged and harden their hearts toward the brothers who were causing the conflict. In turn, this would bring about conflict that could destroy the work of God in that place. That was the last thing Paul wanted to see happen to them.
With this in mind, consider the passage once again. “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…” The passage is a matter of CONDUCT, not a matter of justification. Paul knew that the manner in which these good brethren at Philippi handled themselves would be critical to the ongoing of the work there. Just for the challenge, read the remainder of the book and watch how he develops an even more well rounded attitude within them.
What then does this mean to us? We can plainly see from this book that how we conduct ourselves in the midst of trouble is very important to God. These brethren could have easily justified hatred and anger. They could have fought back and even felt good about it. They might have even used phrases like “contending for the faith” in their stand against this evil. Because Paul knew this potential and the harm it could cause, he nipped it in the bud. “Take on the mind of Christ,” he taught them. “Remember how He reacted.”
Ask yourself these questions. Would I have better relationships with others, no matter what they do to me, if I responded the way Jesus would have? If I took on the mind of Christ, would I be a person that was more pleasant to be around? If the mind of Jesus was reflected as my mind, would my testimony about Him be more effective? If we, as the church universal, took on the mind of Christ, would we have splits and splinters like we do now?
Maybe these questions can tell us something. Perhaps living up to the high calling we received through the gospel would solve most of the relationship problems we have in our lives. “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worth of the gospel”.