Phil 1:27-2:18 Now You Follow His Example

May 14, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment

I described, at the beginning of our study of this epistle, 

that I intended to break it down into 6 segments (plus a closing prayer)

these segments are the major points supporting the purpose of the letter

“dont worry about me, I am fine, in fact I wish you were as fine as I am”

segment 1

1:1 – 11

we examined his prayer of gratefulness 

and prayer that they continue into greater expressions of faithfulness and love

segment 2

1: 12 – 26

we examined the how’s and more importantly, why he is following Christ’s example

(using words like purpose -> passion -> predicament -> perspective -> refined purpose

and how each one was triggered by the one before it and set the foundation for the one coming after it)

addresses their concern about his imprisonment

his imprisonment has turned out as a good thing for sharing the gospel

  • everyone now knows that he is in prison for the cause of Christ
    • praetorian guard
    • everyone else
  • has encouraged the brethren to be more bold in speaking the Word without fear

he could be released or executed (which he is really excited about either way) (see vs 21)

  • living for Jesus down here is fruitful gain for all of you and the Lord (see vs 22)
    • Dying down here, means departing to be what Christ, which is much better (see vs 23)
    • He does not view dying as the sacrifice , he views staying down here as the sacrifice !

(staying alive down here to serve others is the “sacrifice for the Lord”, and dying is the reward)

today, we move into segment 3

1:27 – 2:18

is encouraging them to follow Christ’s example

  • your lives, amidst the conflict of claiming Christ is king in a culture where it could mean your death
    are not to be shaped by the culture
    but to be shaped by the understanding that God has given you a gift,
    a gift of being able to suffer for His sake in holding firm to your beliefs through persecution
  • follow the example of Christ who did not seek to elevate Himself but sacrificed Himself for the sake of others, lowering Himself in the process to be lifted up and glorified later as a reward
  • the idea is “suffering for Christ is a way (the way) to live out His story and message
    (just as Christ lived to tell the story of His Father and His kingdom)

    • first adam tried to elevate himself, serve his own glory and brought sin and death to all mankind
    • second adam lowered Himself, serving the Father’s glory, and brought restoration and life to those who believe
  • just as Paul said “to live is Christ and to die is gain (reward)”, he is copying Christ who came down to earth to “live is to glorify the Father, and to die is gain (reward)”

let’s read it then dive into it

1:27 ¶ Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

1:30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

2:1 ¶ Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

2:12 ¶ So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

2:14 ¶ Do all things without grumbling or disputing;

2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

2:18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

1:27 ¶ Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

we find this phrase “worthy” used by Paul (meaning God’s inspired choice of words) elsewhere

Eph 4:1

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

Col 1:10

so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord

1 Thess 2:12

so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

each of these usages does not use the term worthy in a vacuum , but in context which helps exact it’s meaning

Eph 4:1

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

(Eph. 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

Eph. 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.)

worthy walking is here defined as 

having humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance for one another in love

diligently preserving our unity of and in the Spirit of God indwelling each of us.

Col 1:10

9 be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Col. 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Col. 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

Col. 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

walking worthy is here explained as 

starting with knowledge of His will (spiritual wisdom and understanding)

to please God in all areas of our lives, bearing good fruit, which feeds back and reinforces our spiritual understanding,

being strengthened with His power so that we have necessary steadfastness and patience,

praising and thanking God through all that happens, (a Father who qualifies us to share in an inheritance of the “saints of light”)

this could be summarized as
“knowing what pleases our Father, and doing just that …  everywhere and everywhen, 

which strengthens us further to do even more, even better”

1 Thess 2:12

1Th. 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;

1Th. 2:11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,

1Th. 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

here walking worthy is explained as doing what you saw us doing because we are confident that we are walking worthy

devout, blameless, encouraging each of you as a father does his own children

how did Paul and his companions live among the Thessalonians ?

1Th. 2:1 ¶ For you yourselves know, brethren, that our 1acoming to you bwas not in vain,

1Th. 2:2 but after we had already suffered and been amistreated in bPhilippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God cto speak to you the dgospel of God amid much 1eopposition.

1Th. 2:3 For our aexhortation does not come from berror or cimpurity or 1by way of ddeceit;

1Th. 2:4 abut just as we have been approved by God to be bentrusted with the gospel, so we speak, cnot as pleasing men, but God who 1dexamines our hearts.

1Th. 2:5 For we never came 1with flattering speech, as you know, nor with aa pretext for greed — bGod is witness —

1Th. 2:6 nor did we aseek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as bapostles of Christ 1we might have 2asserted our authority.

1Th. 2:7 But we 1proved to be 2agentle 3among you, bas a nursing mother 4tenderly cares for her own children.

1Th. 2:8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to aimpart to you not only the bgospel of God but also our own 1lives, because you had become 2very dear to us.

Paul is telling the Philippians to walk worthy (tell the story) as he himself walks worthy (tells the story) , as Christ walked worthy (told the story)

what do I mean “story” ?

D.L. Moody “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”

some stats:

Of over 2 billion Christians in the world, less than 30% will ever read through the entire Bible. The fact is over 82% of Christian Americans only read their Bibles on Sundays while in church.

A shocking 57% of American Christians believe other religions can lead to eternal life.

no digging in the Word, no life of conviction, no absolute truth to discern right from wrong,

no testimony to tell the story to others … there is no worthy walk to even look at

does our walk match our talk (does our life match the claim)

I’m very good at my job (35 years of printing experience)

but I dont walk around telling all the customers how good I am

I let my work speak for me

and sometimes I hear my boss bragging about me (sometimes)

walking worthy is “how well does my life tell His story”

  1. you have a fish on the back of your car but break the speed limit and drive like everyone else
    (cutting people off, taking peoples parking places, etc)
  1. we announce that we are christians, but we don’t really act that different
    (which is why we have to announce it, because our life doesn’t say it for us)

yes, we are forgiven.

but if our first gut response is, when this is pointed out, “yeah, but I’m forgiven”

you are revealing a mindset of abusing grace

1 John 1:9 says we are to “confess” our sins before being forgiven

we are meant to repent first of the wrong, then enjoy the forgiveness for missing the mark

(not ignore the entire repentance phase and cover it with a “forgiven band-aid”)

imagine having a friend over the house,

they break something important in carelessness,

you look at them and rightfully expect at least an apology

(perhaps and offer to fix or replace the item)

because, as your friend, they are supposed to be mindful of what makes you happy or sad

rather, they say, “it’s no big deal, after all our friendship is worth more

and you would rather forgive me than hold this against me”

what would your reply be ?

  1. you are abusing our friendship by treating our relationship so carelessly
  2. you actually refused to apologize and reminded me that it is my duty to ignore the offense
  3. revealing that maybe your not as close to me as you think you are
  4. (my own son, Josh tried that and the results surprised him greatly)

Jesus said “if you love me you will keep my commandments”

when we sin, it’s because we are loving ourselves more than Him

(just face it, admit, and grow from it)

we can only walk worthy, when we are willing to face the reasons when we dont walk worthy

(not gloss over it “forgiven, no big deal”, but repent and draw closer to God in the process)

take that part of ourselves and identify it and capture it in 2 Cor 10:3-5

then sacrifice it in Rom 12:1-2


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