Our Allegiance To Christ
Today we finish the first chapter of Philippians. I thought I might finish a bit quicker, but generally I prefer to take my time versus rushing through scripture.
In verse 27, Paul writes Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Paul uses a word that means allegiance. What Paul seems to mean is that allegiance to Christ should affect the manner of life of the Philippians. Too often we get this backwards. We try to conduct ourselves in a manner to make us worthy of Christ, instead of allowing the Gospel to drive our lives.
Paul continues that we should live this way so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of yo that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Whether Paul remains imprisoned or is able to come to Philippi, he wants one thing. He wants them to be unified striving for the Gospel. The word striving comes from an athletic term, specifically wrestling. It reminds me of when Jacob wrestled with God and his name was changed to Israel because he had striven with God and men and had prevailed. Paul wants the Philippians to strive in unity for the Gospel without giving up.
Paul writes to do this in no way alarmed by your opponents which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. Paul seems to be saying to not fear those who oppose the Gospel. This is unsettling to them. Ultimately, this is a sign of their destruction. However, the Gospel manifesting itself so that fear does not dominate the Philippians lives is a part of their salvation.
Paul also writes about a result of following Christ and the Gospel. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, no only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. The result is that the Philippians will suffer for following Christ. It isn’t a punishment. It has been granted for Christ’s sake.
Paul wraps Philippians 1 up by saying that this suffering consists of experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear to be in me. Paul has suffered for Christ’s sake. He is currently in prison and wants the Philippians to understand that same fate is what they face in their lives as well.
What do we learn from this in our lives?
1. Our allegiance to Christ is the driving force in our lives.
2. Our allegiance to Christ gives us confidence in our lives
3. Our allegiance to Christ results in suffering for His sake