“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 one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27, NIV84)
Being in prison, Paul had some uncertainty about the future. He believed that in time he would be vindicated and released. It was his hope that once released he would be able to visit the church in Philippi. Only God knew for certain what would happen. In this verse Paul says, “Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” He encouraged them to continue to live true to the faith no matter what the future brought. This came from a man who was in prison because of living true to the faith. For Paul, and for you and me, there is no other way to be. We have been born anew by the power of the Holy Spirit. God has poured out His love into our hearts. We can’t help but live our Christian lives boldly and loudly.
Paul went on to say, “I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel.” The most beautiful and powerful thing about Christians living out their Christian lives is the unity with which they live. One of my favorite Greek words is homothumadon. It is used in the book of acts, and it means “one mind.” Every time this word is used the Holy Spirit does powerful things through the lives of the group of Christians who are in one mind. We become one in Christ, hence we become one in mind, purpose, and will. As “one man” (the body of Christ), we contend for the faith of the Gospel. Nothing can stand in the way of a group of Christians who are in homothumadon. Nothing! In that one-mindedness the Spirit is free to work in the most powerful ways.
Today, may we live lives worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we be one in faith, hope, and purpose.