A significant portion of following Jesus is the manner in which we follow Him together. As part of the Church, we are to make our lives count for Kingdom work in unison with one another.
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.
The Standard (1:27a)
- Jesus didn’t forgive all of your sins so that you would live for Him halfway.
- My decisions should be affected by if they are worthy of Jesus and not if they are witnessed by others.
- The plural “you” can’t live worthy if the singular “you” doesn’t do your part.
The Supporters (1:27b)
- “Standing firm” – Like soldiers aligned together for battle, we ought to share a singular goal for victory.
- “Striving side by side” – Like athletes competing together, we must remember that our individual efforts affect the team dynamic.
- A church will never completely unite under preferences; we must be guided solely by the gospel.
The Opponents (1:28-30)
- Our opponents not only want to come against us but also between us.
- When we stand firm together, it signals to our enemies that our hope in salvation is greater than our fear of suffering.
- We will all experience suffering, but we don’t have to face it alone.
- You cannot obey all the one anothers in the Bible by attempting discipleship alone.
- Isolated Christianity doesn’t work because He has made the Church necessary for our growth.
- How connected are you to the Body of Christ right now?