Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Joy of Life Change...

Philippians 1:27-30

"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ . . ." (v27). Christians are to live their lives in a way that affirms Christ's gospel--in a way that makes it valuable. Since the centerpiece of the gospel is gracious life-change, the best way in which we can demonstrate it's worth is by allowing Christ to completely change our lives.

"standing firm" (v27). We are to stand our ground! We must put on the spiritual armor that God has provided for our protection. Take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18.

"one spirit" (v27). There is only one Holy Spirit who indwells all Christ-followers. There is an amazing unity that can exist among believers when we are all following and listening to the unified Spirit of God.

"one mind" (v27). The gospel is evidenced when the church is able to come together with one will--one purpose! If each of us is submitted to the Holy Spirit's leadership, then we will be united in mind. The Holy Spirit is not divided and He is not dividing Christians. We are divided by our own rebellion to the promptings of the Holy Spirit of God.

"striving together for the faith of the gospel" (v27). "Faith" is confident belief in what remains unseen. The "faith of the gospel" then is the confident belief that the gospel will be effective in the lives of those who receive it. The church comes to together to struggle for ongoing life-change in it's members.

"in no way alarmed by your opponents" (v28). Lives that are being transformed by the power of the gospel have nothing to fear. Christ's transforming power is evidenced by fear being replaced with love in the lives of those who know Christ.

"but also to suffer for His sake" (v29). We not only have been given the ability to believe but also the ability to suffer for the sake of Christ. The manner in which we may endure suffering gives evidence of Christ's transforming power. It's not culturally popular to speak of our need to suffer but it is biblical!

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