Behave Yourself click for audio here
Philippians 1:27-30 (ESV)
27 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, 28 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. 29 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, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
In the closing verses of chapter 1 Paul is shifting his focus from himself to the Philippian believers. A quick scan of verses 1-26 you see a lot of personal pronouns…I, me, my … Paul had told the Christians at Philippi, that he was going to be alright. He was rejoicing because the gospel message was advancing throughout the whole Imperial Guard, or as KJV says “palace”, which is the entire Roman soldiers.
Now he turns to them. He has a message, an exhortation for them.
v.27 only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…
Paul makes his point in a strong way by using a strong word of emphasis “only”. It’s like saying “here’s the bottom line”. “Here’s the main thing” This is very essential.
ONLY LET YOUR MANNER OF LIFE BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST…
He has already used the word “gospel” in this chapter.
- Defense of the gospel v.7
- Proclamation of the gospel vv.13-18
- Worthy of the gospel v.27
What we are defending… preaching, proclaiming… can have a negative influence if our conduct, or behavior contradicts the message….
The Philippians were Greeks, or at least living in a Greek culture. One special thing about the city of Philippi is that it was a Roman colony. Even though the city of Rome was about 800 miles away, the people of Philippi were proud to be called ROMANS. Philippi was a minature of ROME. Being a Roman citizen carried a great deal of prestige, and great advantages. They lived in such a way to honor their ties to Rome. Paul takes that thought to say just like you live your manner of life worthy of being a Roman citizen, conduct yourself in a way that’s worthy of the gospel of Christ
YOU live in a pagan culture…. Live worthy of the Gospel……Don’t LIVE BENEATH THE GOSPEL. Don’t live ashamed of the Gospel, or embarrassed of the Gospel. Live consistent with the message of Christ.
Phil 2:15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Phil 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
If we do not BEHAVE in a way that is consistent with the Gospel Message, we lose credibility.
The sad thing about the church today is we’ve lost credibility. The church has moved away from the main thing. It has lost its way. Lost its power and influence on a corrupting society. Jesus said – You are the salt of the earth—
Just like salt that gives that distinctive flavor; and is used to PRESERVE meat in a SALT BOX….it has that power…just put salt on a cut….there’s a sting…like a disinfectant..
WE ARE CALLED to be that DISTINCTIVE Witness for Christ… to give that distinctive sound…. And a stinging disinfectant to a decaying world…..
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet (MATTHEW 5:13)
The world laughs and mocks at the church… and the reason is the church has lost its SALTINESS…… lost its INTEGRITY….lost its MORAL influence….
There are preachers guilty of sexual immorality…..adulterous affairs….and what is even worse they are accepted back into leadership….and continue to pastor a church…YES…there’s mercy, there’s forgiveness, but for a pastor….you cross the line and become guilty of adultery…you’re disqualified….FORGIVEN, BUT DISQUALIFIED
Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
It is ESSENTIAL… It is IMPERATIVE…. That we as God’s people…as those who carry the name of Christ…..conduct ourselves, BEHAVE ourselves….let our manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…
How are we to do this? What Must We do…to behave ourselves….to live in a way that’s gives honor to Christ and His glorious Gospel ?
SEVERAL KEY WORDS….
1) Be Firm in Standing. V.27
- The word “standing firm” refers…to a soldier STANDING at His Post…a war is going on…and a soldier is at his post…and will not abandon his post…..he will not compromise his position….he will stand firm..
- We are in a warfare…. Not flesh/blood…. But a spiritual warfare….the devil and his forces seek our destruction…
- WE must NOT move doctrinally…stand firm…. Refuse to NOT move ……stand firm in doctrine…..
Many people think it’s not important….. doesn’t matter what you believe………We must not abandon our ground… refuse to move doctrinally….
GO to Phil. 4:1 stand firm….
- PAUL – whether I am There with you…..or absent
so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm (AS parents occasionally leave their child under the care and supervision of someone else….and they tell their child… Be good…I’ll be back… …..Paul is saying…whether I’m there or absent….continue to STAND FIRM CONSISTENTLY….i DON’T NEED TO BE THERE LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDERS……
Biology class ….senior in high school…….teacher was NOT there….3rd period……one boy name Allen found a bag of seeds in the back of the biology classroom…. He threw a few……and before you know it all of us boys….were throwing these seeds back and forth at each other..
The next day….Biology teacher showed up…and used a paddle on all of us…
Paul is saying ….stand firm…. Whether I’m there or absent…
(c) Viligently with whole armor of God Read Ephesians 6:10-15
2) BE Unified in Purpose.
v.27 in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
Phil 4:2-3 they were struggling with this ……… Euodia and Syntyche….help these women…labored SIDE BY SIDE…
ROMANS 12:5 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another
ROMANS 12:15-18 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
HOW IS UNITY ACHIEVED?
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Stop looking out for yourself…. Conflict comes when people are seeking their own interest…
It’s like little children ……fighting over toys….. they must learn to share…. To be humble and learn that’s it’s not
- Important to be First all the time
- Does not matter to have your way..
- Does not matter to GET what you want…
- Somebody has to sacrifice Being First….. having their way….
You see this out on the highways….. people wanting to be first…. Not willing to yield…. Angry when others cut them off,
UNITY for what reason ? v.27 striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
Here’s the purpose for the unity…. Not being in unity for the sake of unity…. Purpose….
There is a common purpose…. A common goal…..
What is it that gives us PURPOSE………. For the faith of the gospel…
- Our focus — must be on getting the gospel out…. To a lost, dying world….
- If NOT…. Turn inward….our focus will be on “petty stuff”…. “things that don’t matter”
- Must keep our focus on the MISSION of the church…. Work together for the souls of those who are lost…..beginning with our own families…. They must hear the faith of the gospel..
- LIKE atheletes…. They must work in unity….for the common goal of winning…….many a game has been lost due to a lack of teamwork…..everyone playing their part….sharing responsibilities….playing as a team… (I remember…..as a child playing basketball…we had a game…and one of our team mates…. Was given the ball….he scored on the wrong goal…) YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THAT……….
- IF A LOCAL CHURCH does not work as a team…… we give our enemy the devil opportunity to score points against us…….
WE strive together side by side … for the faith of the gospel
It will be a great challenge……….for your children….for this generation………
There’s much that comes against us…..
So much of the church world has caved in….compromised to this world’s way of thinking….
Because of the technology, social media, the love for entertainment…. People don’t think anymore…. ….people don’t read anymore…. They would rather be entertained and amused…
So many churches and preachers have given themselves to the entertainment business….they have brought in clowns, and such things as men who will bust a concrete block ; get out of handcuffs; do a magic show; create an atmosphere like a theme park such as Six Flags Over Georgia; but call it Six Flags Over Jesus;
All this entertainment has created a society of people….who can’t think…. Television has helped to produce a mindless generation…. You don’t think about things….. it’s done for you….your mind goes blank when the TV is on….
I refused to participate in one Association of Baptist Churches….that created a Carnival like crusade…it was all about getting folks together to have fun……have rides for the kids…… a carnival…and sprinkled throughout were small brief gospel presentations….
Can’t have people…sit for 1 hour and hear some preaching….. that today…..is an insult to this mindless generation …..we won’t have it……..our attention is very short….
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Romans 10:13-14 …. Takes more than a 5 min. presentation…… many today are guilty of trivilazing the gospel message…. It’s only a sideline item…. The main thing is the entertainment…….. we just sort of throw in the gospel for good measure…
We must strive together in unity for the Faith of the Gospel…. Must keep the main thing the main thing….and the main thing is the Gosple message of Jesus Christ…
3) Be Fearless against hostility v.28
I believe the reason churches cave in ….and compromise they are afraid of losing people..
Afraid of being labeled old fashion…. Outdated….. out of touch….
Afraid of being irrelevant…
We want to be hip…. Be cool….. be popular….
28 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
- Their dislike of the gospel….and their hostility toward you…. sign of their destruction…..
- To you it’s a sign of your salvation…………..sign you are on the right side…..
And that from God—- He’s the one we should FEAR and RESPECT and Revere….
4) Be Ready to Suffer vv.29-30
All that live godly shall suffer persecution.
We are living in dangerous times………. Becoming increasingly dangerous for all who believe in Christ and are determined to behave / and conduct themselves worthy of the gospel of Christ….
Swan Creek Baptist Church
Lewis County Tennessee
Pastor Chris Gowen