Living Worthy of the Gospel, and Our Relationship to the Church

By Pastor Brady Wolcott

Philippians 1:27,29. 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…29 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

A manner of life worthy of the gospel. This is our calling. And it is a calling empowered by our union with Christ. The gospel has already been completed in you and is being completed in you by God. If this is true (and it is) then this truth must and will empower our lives being lived worthy of the gospel.

The word “life” here is the word for citizenship. The Philippians were living in a Roman colony. Citizenship was a big deal. A source of pride. “We are Roman citizens.” But Paul is reminding them that their ultimate reality is not Roman citizenship but a citizenship in Heaven that is made possible by the gospel truths within them.

To live worthy of the gospel is to live in such a way that the gospel is proven to be good and true. Does the gospel work? Is it working in your life?

To answer this question, we must look at our relationships. Notice in our verses above (and throughout this whole letter) that Paul appeals to their relationships when he exhorts them to live a gospel centered life. So do you stand firm in one spirit with other Christians? Do you strive side by side for the gospel? Do you suffer for Christ’s sake and the sake of the church?

If you want to know if your life is being lived worthy of your gospel citizenship, then look at your relationship to the church. Does unity characterize you? Has working together with others for kingdom advance become your goal?  Are you willing and able to suffer with others? Or are you isolated, grumbling, or apathetic?

If the gospel is at work (and it is because Christ is in you) then we can allow the message of the cross, that we are both wicked and loved, to propel us forward in relationships that seek neither isolation or dominance, inferiority or superiority. The life worthy of the gospel proves that the cross worked. That your death and resurrection with Christ had a life changing effect on your heart and desires. That Christ in you is driving you to not only tolerate others, but to seek others out through the church and its kingdom work.