Tomorrow Me: Choosing to Obey Jesus Today Will Help You Honour Jesus Tomorrow
27 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 the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.
Two problems facing the Philippian church that today’s Christ-centred church still faces:
1. We are facing opposition: without being frightened in any way by those who oppose us.
- We live in a culture that glorifies and worships self and opposes anyone who challenges the throne of self-worship.
- Paul is encouraging believers: we will face opposition because of our decisions.
- 100% in 2023, you will be tempted to honour yourself or honour Christ. When you decide to obey Christ-you will be opposed.
2. We are facing uncertainty: Whatever happens
- That phrase, “Whatever happens,” is an admission that we don’t know exactly what will happen to us daily. The apostle Paul did not know what would happen to him or the Philippians. His only concern was to live for Christ as long as he lived.
Paul shares, whatever happens, remember your one responsibility: conduct yourself in a manner worthy of Christ.
- 'Conduct yourself' in one word in the Greek language is a political word
- That one word in Greek, “politeuesthe” literally means to live as a citizen. It’s the Greek word from which we get our English words, politics and political. It has to do with citizenship.
- The verse reads whatever happens: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Paul is setting us up, as believers, to have a framework for making decisions that will lead to obeying Christ today.
1. This is not our home:
- Whatever happens, we need to make decisions that obey the King who rules the home we are from. Pleasing him-matters most.
- Although the temptation may be strong to compromise when they face “those who oppose them,” their first consideration should be loyalty to God’s commonwealth’s standards as summarized in the gospel.
2. We are to stand firm:
- If the Philippians are to do this, and if we are to do this, we need to stand firm in our convictions and beliefs.
- Church, we need to know the word of God. As we learn the word of God, we need to make changes in our lives so that our thoughts and actions align with God's will.
- If you come to church and learn something new about a law, an action or a practice that either honours God or dishonours God - you need to change your activity, pattern or thought so that you are in line with what the word of God says.
- Our authority to stand firm is sourced in the word of God - our standing firm is not refusing to change; our standing firm is us grasping on to the ultimate authority over all matters - the Holy Word of God. This alone gives us the ability to stand firm-therefore, every primary thought, every major decision, and every significant move needs to go through the grid of "what does God's word say?" and then we obey that overall.
Paul challenges the believers to stand firm, and contend for the gospel
3. “In one Spirit” and as “one man”
- One man is literally translated here as – ‘In one soul’
- Paul is asking the Philippians to be united in Soul and Spirit- so our Soul (mind and heart) need to be united with the Holy Spirit. When the Soul and the Spirit are united in thought and action while standing firm on the word of God, we will make decisions that honour the King from whom we hold citizenship and share the Good News with others.
Choosing to Obey Jesus Today Will Help You Honour Jesus Tomorrow