Worthy Citizens Part 1: One Team One Fight! (Philippians 1:27a)

Worthy Citizens Part 1: One Team One Fight! (Philippians 1:27a)

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The Church is united by Christ as one team. (27a)

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, : There’s a sense that you can live unworthily as a Gospel citizen (Gal. 5:19-21). There’s an ethical nature of the Gospel that sees Heavenly citizens reject vanity, selfishness, and needless quarrels (2Cor: 12:20; Titus 3:2).

 

  • The vain Christian seeks to keep up appearances and focuses on outward displays of religion.
  • The selfish Christian always has to have the last word, counts their own needs as utmost importance, and unwilling to listen to others.
  • The quarrelsome Christian is always looking to be upset about something.

When we look to Matthew 5-7 in our Savior’s Sermon on the Mount we see a picture of Gospel citizenship. Our God relaying to His audience the fruit, meaning, and reward to those who are saved by His grace.

Gospel citizens are poor in spirit (5:3), mourn over their sin (5:4), humble (5:5), hungry for righteousness (5:6), merciful (5:7), pure in heart (5:8), and peacemakers (5:9).

That’s a tall task for any citizen of Heaven. Thankfully these attributes of citizenship have only truly been lived out for us through Christ. In His saving us He has also indwely us through The Spirit. The Spirit equips us for every good work and comforts us when we fail to live up to the highest of callings (Heb. 13:21; Phil. 1:6).

so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, : Paul will take good pleasure that despite his circumstances and theirs, they will stand together, unwavering in their unanimity of spirit. Their joy, faithfulness, and unity should not hinge on Paul’s return.

  • Unanimity, or standing firm together,  means that no disagreement can tear apart the community of believers. Instead they consider church unity more important than personal views or preferences.
  • Their unity as a local church serves as a means to which they are able to remain firm in the faith, unwavering in their conviction, and is a testimony to God’s goodness.
  • Unfortunately, evangelical churches are not known for “standing together.” In fact, the opposite is true. Instead of an honest attempt to join hands across denominational, racial, and cultural barriers for the furtherance of common goals, Christians have all too often sought to tear down those who do not agree with them even on the most insignificant matters. This dishonors Christ. Moreover, it hinders the preaching of the gospel. In place of these divisions Christians should know a unity that is visible and has practical results. (Boice, J. M.)

Application

Christians are members of a team.

The team is the local Church.

The local Church has shared values based on their Gospel citizenship.

Therefore, we as a local church should be fighting for unity.

  • We are to discuss challenging topics without getting angry.
  • We are to actively listen to other perspectives.
  • We are to engage one another with respect, counting others as greater than ourselves.

 

Listen to this sermon along with the entire Worship Service HERE.

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