Philippians 1:27-30 & 2:1-4 … PAUL URGES THE PHILIPPIANS TO LIVE IN A WORTHY WAY.
Q.1. How were the Philippians to understand conflict and suffering in their faith journey for Christ? – (Phil.1:27-30) =
Q.2. How are believers to live? Why is it so difficult for us to be likeminded in our pursuit of ministry? – (Phil.2:1-4) =
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy[a] 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.
Christ’s Example of Humility
2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 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.
Q.1. How were the Philippians to understand conflict and suffering in their faith journey for Christ? – (Phil.1:27-30) = Paul had demonstrated how he himself rose above the obstacles in his life of ministry, and also as a prisoner (c.f. Phil.1:12-26). He urged them – only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ … (Phil.1:27). He explained the paradox of trials from the world – … which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God (Phil.1:28). In other words, you can avoid opposition by compromise, but it is far better to confirm the reality of your faith by standing true. Like Paul, they had a guaranteed future – 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me (Phil.1:29-30). Not even the perfect Saviour was exempted from rejection and suffering, as He told His followers – If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you (Jn.15:18-19).
Q.2. How are believers to live? Why is it so difficult for us to be likeminded in our pursuit of ministry? – (Phil.2:1-4) = Selfishness often causes much unhappiness. We have all been given different gifts, personalities, backgrounds and experiences. At times this may make it difficult to maintain harmony and unity. Paul urged the Philippian believers to – … be of the same mind, maintain the same love, be united in spirit, and intent on one purpose (Phil.2:2). However, this does not come naturally or easily. It is prideful and naïve to think our judgment could not be wrong. It is so easy to think more highly of ourselves than we should. We look after ourselves as top priority (Phil.2:3-4). We must learn to push against our own self-centredness, and become more concerned with the cares, concerns and interests of others. Paul has given us the Golden Rule in adjustments to others – 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil.2:3-4). Paul would then go on to show us how …(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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