Our Rule of Life (Sermon Recap)
RECAP OF 04.08.18 SERMON
In our most recent sermon we reflected on Philippians 1:27a – "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (ESV). This short but foundational piece of instruction conveys several lessons.
1) Our practical everyday "manner of life" is very important in God's sight. A true and lively faith is a living and working faith that produces the works of love in all of our relationships and responsibilities – whether in our congregational life, in our family life, or in our economic, social, and political life.
2) It is our privilege and responsibility to lead a distinctly Christian manner of life. The Greek word rendered "manner of life" actually involves the idea of citizenship. As citizens of God's kingdom we have a solemn set of responsibilities: to be faithful to the mission of God's kingdom, to be faithful to one another as members of God's kingdom, and – most of all – to be faithful to the High King, our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ's gospel is our standard (Philippians 1:27) and His mind is our rule (Philippians 2:5).
3) The truly Christian manner of life is a life together. Biblically speaking, being the church is not something you 'turn on' or 'turn off'. For Christians, being the church is how we go through all of life. In Philippians 1:27–2:2 Paul calls us to be deeply unified in spirit, in mind, and in love. The normal Christian life is strongly relational and communal: we love one another face to face in gospel fellowship, and we serve with one another side by side in gospel mission.
4) In all this – in our life together as citizens of God's kingdom – everything that we are and do ought to be "worthy of the gospel of Christ." The gospel not only reconciles us to God, but also ought to shape our character and conduct. Humbly serving one another (see John 13:14), forgiving each other (see Ephesians 4:32), sacrificially devoting ourselves to our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16), and being kind and welcoming to all our fellow Christians (see Colossians 3:11-14, Romans 15:1-7) are all worthy of Christ's gospel. In other words, Christ humbly served us, purchased our forgiveness, sacrificed Himself for us, and kindly welcomed us into His family. As Christ's people, we are called to let His gospel actions so transform us that we begin to resemble Him in our practical everyday life.