Standing Firm in One Spirit

Philippians 1:27-30 ESV

“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, 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. 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, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”

Your Manner of Life

Our manner of life has to do with our behavior, with our conduct, and with our habits (our practices) and with our life choices, how we live our lives day in and day out. And this is largely controlled by what we have stored up in our hearts, and by our thinking, believing, and attitudes, and by our values. For if the heart has good stored up inside, it will produce good, but if the heart has evil stored up inside, it will produce evil (Lu 6:45; Matt 15:17-20).

And the encouragement here is to let our manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. And “worthy” means “suitable, fitting, appropriate and commendable.” And the gospel of Christ teaches that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).

So, if our manner of life is suitable to the gospel of Christ, then we will die with Christ to sin and we will live to Christ and to his righteousness daily. We won’t consider our lives as belonging to ourselves, but as belonging to Christ, to do his will. So we will no longer walk (in conduct) according to the flesh, but we will now walk (in practice) according to the Spirit, living holy lives pleasing to God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom 12:1-2).

But we can’t do this in our own flesh. And this is not about trying to earn or to deserve our own salvation. This is us, in the power of God’s Spirit, living out the life that Jesus died for us to obtain. For when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, which is not of ourselves, we are crucified with him in death to sin so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

Standing Firm in One Spirit

The one spirit in which we are to be standing firm together as one body, the body of Christ, is the spirit of Christ, not the human spirit. For, many gatherings of what are called “church” today are teaching unity of spirit and unity of mind, but it is not unity with the spirit or with the mind of Christ, but it is unity with the spirit of man in his way of thinking. And it is unity with man-based marketing schemes on how to grow their “churches.”

So, when “the church” of today, especially in America, teaches unity of mind, heart, and spirit, make certain that the unity that they speak of is with Christ, and with the gospel of Christ as Jesus taught it and as his New Testament apostles taught it. For uniting with the spirit of Christ is primarily not what is being taught and pushed in today’s institutional churches. They are mainly teaching unity with man (flesh).

So, how do we know what is the mind and spirit of Christ? We know it by the Scriptures and what they teach, for Jesus is the author of the Scriptures. And we also know it by the Holy Spirit who lives within those of us who are truly born again of God’s Spirit and who are now walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. So, if we are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, then what we do should be in agreement with the teachings of the Scriptures.

So that means that the gospel we are teaching and holding fast to is the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught, not the “quick fix” gospel that is being passed off as the true gospel in the majority of “church” gatherings today, at least here in America. So this means that we are dying with Christ daily to sin and to self and we are living daily to Christ and to his righteousness, no longer as slaves of sin but as slaves of righteousness.

Suffering for the sake of Christ Jesus

But when we hold fast to the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it, and as his New Testament apostles taught it (in fulness, in truth), then we are going to be opposed, even by pastors, elders, and professing Christians who have adopted the ways of this world into their lives and ministry, and who are not walking in purity of devotion to the Lord in obedience to his commands and in submission to him as Lord of their lives.

But we are not to be unsettled by or frightened in any way by those who will come against us, and who will oppose us, and who will falsely accuse us of teaching legalism or of being self-righteous, or of being intolerant and hateful or mean and harsh. For the modern gospel pacifies sin and it gives a free pass to its adherents to continue living in their sin. So if you are teaching repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord, you will be opposed by those who are following the modern “gospel.”

For this is God’s will that we should suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of the truth of the gospel. And suffering, though painful, is actually for our good to humble us, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, to make us compassionate people, to teach us perseverance, that we may share in Christ’s holiness, and that having been trained by such discipline we may bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:1-11).

And then we need to know that dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness and living lives which are worthy of the gospel of Christ, in his power and strength, and standing firm in Christ and on the truth of his gospel, even in the face of much opposition, will result in our salvation from sin and eternal life with God. But those who oppose the true gospel and who continue living in sin will not inherit eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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