Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Characteristics which describe Christian behavior.

Identity by Conduct

Philippians 1:27-30

I used to work for a Japanese company. I started there before they began production so I saw a lot of Japs coming in and out to set up the equipment. They were not hard to tell from the American workers. They were all probably 5’6 or under. They all had black hair. They all had squinted eyes. They all wore the same type of clothes. They all spoke Japanese, and a bit of Japenglish. They all smoked cigarettes. They all moved about 90 miles per hour in everything they did. The point is. There conduct was that of a Japanese. No problem telling who they were affiliated with.

Our communities are filled with people who will not set there feet in the doors of a church because they have seen and heard churches who are filled with folks who have more conflict with one another than they have concern for anyone but themselves. Our churches have far too many folks who live like the devil on Saturday and act like a disciple on Sundays. Far too many people today bear the name of Christ, when there behavior is more like that of Capone! Lost men and women in our communities need to see folks in our church who live like they believe that the Gospel and the salvation provided to us through the blood of Christ can make a difference in our lives!

Paul told the Philippians how to have a conduct [conversation (KJV)] worthy of the Gospel. What does this mean? It means that they should behave like they believe he gospel. There behavior shouldn’t be like some in the church. We know that there was some conflict within the church at one time. In chapter 4:2 he writes, “ I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.” Instead of embarrassing behavior within the church, the believers who make up the body of Christ should behave in a way that resembles one who believes gospel truths, submits to gospel laws, and depends upon gospel promises; and do so with faith, holiness, and comfort. Church members’ conduct should be as those who belong to the kingdom of God. The beginning of verse 27 literally reads in Greek, "Perform your duties as a citizen". Paul is stating that the Philippian people need to act like good citizens. And later on in the letter he tells them where their and our citizenship is, Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," The Philippians understood what Paul was writing to them about. They were Roman citizens. Philippi was a "little Rome." Veteran soldiers of Rome would retire in these cities and they would keep all their Roman ties–language, titles, customs, affairs, and dress. They refused the local influence at all costs. They were Roman colonists in a foreign environment. So Paul is giving the church at Philippi a good analogy. They are citizens of heaven. Therefore, they understood that they should speak the language of heaven, bear the title of heaven (Christian), carry out the customs of heaven (worship), dress as citizens of heaven

We can conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel by applying three characteristics described in this text.

I. We Behave Like Christians When we Stand Firmly in One Spirit (V. 27b).

When Paul says to stand firm he is giving the impression of a soldier (Roman) standing at his post—a soldier who will not be distracted from his duties or lose focus on his task. I believe what he is getting at is to know what the Truth is and stand on it at all costs."In One Spirit" speaks of unity in the church. This means that their must be a consistency among the church in what they believe.

Buckingham Palace Guards example of standing firmly and never distracted.

1 Cor 16:13---Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Cor 15:58---Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (NIV).

Our world is full of Christians who say they will defend the faith, but when it is under attack they abandon it. If we have been changed through our relationship with Christ, which comes through the indwelling of the same Spirit, then we should be able to stand together in defending the Truth. Many in our nation would like to control what we believe and teach. We need to stand together on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, exclusiveness of Christianity.

II. We Behave Like Christians When We Strive Together with One Mind (V. 27c).

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