RICHARD DEAN BROOKS
Live a Life Worthy of the Gospel NO MATTER WHAT!!
27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, a striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved and that by God. 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hears that I still have.
1: 27 Paul encouraged the believers to be firmly united in the face of attacks from within the church and from the hostile world around them. They needed spiritual solidarity to be of one mind. Paul may have been recalling the image of the Roman phalanx, a military formation where soldiers would fight shoulder to shoulder as a unit. How sad that much time and effort are lost in some churches by fighting against one another instead of uniting against the real opposition! It takes a courageous church to resist infighting and to maintain the common purpose of serving Christ.
1: 29 Paul considered suffering for Christ to be a privilege. We don’t naturally consider suffering a privilege. Yet when we suffer, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example affect us and others for good. Suffering has these additional benefits: (1) it takes our eyes off of earthly comforts, (2) it weeds out superficial believers, (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure, and (4) it provides an example for others who may follow us. When we suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean that we have done something wrong. In fact, the opposite is often true— it may be verifying that we have been faithful. Trust God and believe that he has a purpose in it. Paul and his fellow apostles considered it a high honor to be identified with Christ in suffering (see Acts 5: 41). Use suffering to build your character and draw you close to your Savior. Don’t resent it or let it tear you down.
1: 30 Throughout his life, Paul suffered for spreading the gospel (see 2 Corinthians 11: 23-27 for a list of many of Paul’s sufferings). Like the Philippians, we are in conflict with anyone who would discredit the saving message of Christ. All true believers are in this fight together, uniting against the same enemy for a common cause. Paul never urges Christians to seek out suffering, as if experiencing pain were a virtue. But we should not forget those who do suffer. If your cupboard is full, share your food. If you control the wheels of power, work for justice and mercy. If you are wealthy, give generously to those who are poor. When life is comfortable, willingly take a share of the suffering being experienced by others, find a way to help them, and so demonstrate to the world that the gospel is true.Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible
So many of Pauls lifes happenings are no different than what we go through today. ALL of his letters are telling us how to advance the GOSPEL EVEN IN TIMES OF SUFFERING OR IN OPPOSITION!!
ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS and LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL!!