Union with Christ Empowers a Life Worthy of the Gospel

By Pastor Brady Wolcott

Philippians 1:27. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.

This first part of our Fighter Verse gives us one of the best summary imperatives for the Christian life- “Live worthy of the gospel.”

Wait imperatives? “I don’t like being told what to do.” “Can’t I just live how I want?” “Aren’t we supposed to just believe and our conduct doesn’t matter?”

Not if you are united to Christ. Our union with Christ produces two equally important states of being.

1) You are In Christ.

2) Christ is In You.

Being In Christ means that Christ is your representative and identity now. What happened to him happened to you. He died so you died. He rose so you rose. He is seated with God so are you. In Christ secures your salvation and it is all of grace.

But also Christ is in you. His life now animates your being. He is being formed in you and transforming you. And the cool thing is that God has invited you to be a partner (koinonia) in this work of the gospel (Phil. 1:5-7; 2:12-13). This is faith. We trust God’s gracious work in our lives (Phil. 1:6) to produce the life of Christ in us.

And this faith and trust requires not just a heart of faith, but also the actions of faith. And now we are back to our verse- Always let your life be worthy of the gospel. Herein is our partnership, our choosing, our faith, our good works that flow from dependency and grace (not self-effort, earning, or law).

You see we must always balance In Christ and Christ In You. Yes we rest In Christ. We receive grace and know that there is nothing that we can do to lose it or gain it. But we also strive from Christ In You. Jesus didn’t just save us FROM sin and Hell. He saved us BY putting his own life into us. He saved us UNTO righteousness. This gives us a new purpose and meaning for life and it gives us the power, courage, peace, hope, joy, and love to carry out that purpose through our own faith filled decision making that flows from a new desire for God and his life, love and holiness.

If you look at your life right now and decide that it is NOT worthy of the gospel (and more on that later), then the answer is not to try harder. The answer is to trust more. Trust God’s love for you, and his never ending goodness. Let his goodness give you the motivation, confidence, and desire you need to choose his righteousness and love. Make good choices FROM a good imagination of God’s goodness and love. Choices that prove that the gospel is true and good and worth it.