Philippians 1:27-30 ESV
“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, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”
Worthy of the Gospel
Jesus said that if we love our family members more than we love him that we are not worthy of him, and if we do not take up our cross (die with Jesus to sin) and follow (obey) him, we are not worthy of him. And Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
And so we are urged to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, and we are to let our manner of life be worthy (fitting, suitable, appropriate, proper) of the gospel of Christ, and we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work.
[Matt 10:37-38; Lu 9:62; Eph 4:1; Php 1:27; Col 1:10; 1 Thess 2:12]
So, what is suitable to the calling to which we have been called? To what have we been called? We have been called to be saints, which means to be holy, which means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ, and it means to be set apart to God and to his will for our lives.
And we are called to live in freedom from slavery to sin according to the righteousness of God. And we are called out of darkness, out of our sinful lifestyles into God’s marvelous light – his truth, his righteousness, his holiness. And we are called to God’s own glory and excellence, and he is holy, righteous, morally pure, upright, truthful, and faithful in all he does.
And what is the gospel? It is that Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. It is that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin so that we are no longer enslaved to sin so that we can now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness. And it is that because of what Jesus did for us on that cross that we are to deny self and take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him.
And our manner of life is our attitudes, our actions, our thinking, our speaking, and our behaviors. It is who we are and what we do. And these are to be suitable to the gospel which teaches that Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So our manner of life should be that of living holy lives, pleasing to God, morally pure, honest, upright, and godly.
For the Faith of the Gospel
The faith of the gospel is not that we can “believe” (undefined) in Jesus, have our sins forgiven (past, present, and future), be guaranteed heaven when we die, and yet continue living in deliberate and habitual sin for our own glory and praise, according to our own will and desire, for our own pleasure and purposes.
The faith of the gospel is that, because of what Jesus did for us on that cross, we are to no longer live like those who have no faith in Jesus Christ. We are not to give ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not how we should have learned Christ. The truth in Christ Jesus instructs us to put off our old self and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
The faith of the gospel is that, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer enslaved to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. For sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives. Therefore, we are to no longer let sin reign and rule in our bodies, to make us obey its passions, but we are to present ourselves to God as instruments for righteousness, which is all that is deemed right in the eyes of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Suffering for His Sake
And if you believe the truth of the gospel, and if you hold on to that faith, and if you walk in that truth that you must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and if this is what you share with others, you will be opposed, even by other “Christians,” and by pastors and elders of “churches,” too. For the majority appear now to be following a different gospel and another Jesus other than what are taught in the Scriptures.
Yes, we don’t earn or deserve our own salvation. Yes, we are not saved by our own fleshly works. But our salvation is not absent of works (Eph 2:10; Tit 2:11-14; Php 2:12-13, etc.). It is just that it is the works of God which he does in and through us and which he demands that we do (walk in, in practice) in his power and strength and wisdom. But when this is how we live, we will be falsely accused of teaching “works-based salvation.”
So, study the Scriptures in context. Know what they teach regarding what God requires of his followers, and then walk in obedience to the Lord in a manner worthy of the gospel, and in a manner worthy of our Lord in holiness, righteousness, moral purity, honesty, and faithfulness. Forsake your sinful practices and follow your Lord in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and you will be blessed.
[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!