Gospel Citizenship

Pray: 

King of heaven, help me to live in such a way as to reflect the principles of Your kingdom on earth.

Read: PHILIPPIANS 1:27-30

[27] Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel [28] without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved-and that by God.[29] For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, [30] since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. 

 

Reflect: Where is your citizenship?

Paul earlier declared the Philippians to be partners in the Gospel (5); now he calls on them to live "in a manner worthy of the Gospel" (27), which is his main concern in this part of the letter through to 2:18.

As it happens, the verb Paul uses here is related to the word for "citizenship" in 3:20, carrying the sense of exercising the rights and duties of a full citizen. So "live out your citizenship" provides a key for the section. This is reinforced with Paul's use of political and military language (glance through the passage again and look for some examples).

As we noted in our way in to these chapters, the theme of citizenship is significant given the social setting of Philippi. They live in a Roman colony, but they are to live according to a higher calling and a different set of customs. Since the Gospel results not just in saved individuals but in a redeemed community, they are to strive together in the face of hostility (27,28), following the pattern of Jesus himself (29).

 

Apply: 

What will "living out your citizenship" look like for you in the tasks you do and the people you meet?

 

Pray: 

Lord, You do not call us to suffering that You have not endured. Help us to stand for truth regardless of the cost.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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