Paul knows by experience that the truth of Christ bring opposition. He is trying to encourage the Philippian believers by stating the facts about their shared work for Jesus. Telling others about salvation, redemption, eternal life, heaven…. are all things in which the believer rejoices. The unbeliever sees them as a pronouncement of coming destruction and fights against those who proclaim these gospel truths. In Philippians 1:27-30, Paul says we need to stand up for Christ and walk in a manner worthy of His calling. This is a life lived fearlessly for Christ knowing He alone is Savior, Redeemer, and Sovereign over all things.
27 “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”
Paul’s conclusion is that knowing and walking with Christ each day is a privilege entrusted to us by faith and with that comes suffering. Know it, accept it and then lean on Him. Remember you can take strength in and from fellow believers as you stand together in the cause of Christ. Here are a few verses that help with the concept of suffering and why it comes with the job of being a believer. (I have printed them at the bottom.) I pray they help you to put in perspective what a privilege we have to suffer with Christ and the bigger purpose He has for us in suffering. James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 4:14 and Acts 5:40-41.
My joy is increased:
- I do not need to be fearful in my daily walk. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- I am in this with life with victorious Christ and fellow believers are at my side.
- Remembering Christ sacrifice for me, it is a privilege to suffer for Him.
Let your joy in serving Christ fill you today.
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
1 Peter 4:14 “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
Acts 5:40-41 “and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.”