Paul’s letter to the saints in Philippi overflows with joy and thanks- giving. Although it appears that the church was sound and doing a good work, Paul does not forget to encourage the Christians to walk along the straight and narrow path. He says, “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27). This is earnest advice that we should heed today.
Paul was telling the Philippians that the way they conducted their lives should be good enough or adequate enough to be compared favorably with what Christ taught concerning such. Paul goes on to say their worthy lives must be evident. He says he wants to know, whether in their presence or away from them, that their conduct is becoming the name Christian. That leads us to a most important question: What does a worthy life look like?
Paul describes three characteristics of a life worthy of the gospel. First he tells the Philippians it behooves those who profess the gospel to strive for it. He wanted them to be “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (1:27). Striving involves struggle, and may even involve fighting at times. Christians fight evil when they strive for the gospel. If our religion is worth anything, it is certainly worth everything. There is much opposition in this world and there is a great need for Christians to strive.
Secondly, Paul says unity of Christians (one spirit and one mind) is a necessity. He directs disciples to strive together and not against one another. A church will suffer and even die if unity is not maintained. The Corinthian church is a good example of a contentious church. Paul told them Christ was not divided and neither should they be. He said they were “of the flesh and behaving only in a human way” (1 Cor. 3:3).
Finally, Paul says the Christian’s steadfastness becomes the gospel. Back in the Corinthian letter he says, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Co. 15:58). Those who are on again, off again with the gospel and not fixed in their minds will never abound in God’s work. However, those who are steadfast can be certain their labor is not in vain.
Let us all heed the instructions of Paul. We should show a manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ. We must strive together, steadfastly working, being unified in spirit and mind. Our salvation depends on this!