Summary: THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST SHOULD INSPIRE LOYAL SOLIDARITY (TRUE UNITY) AND SUPERNATURAL CALM AS WE STRIVE TOGETHER TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL (WHILE ACCEPTING THE INEVITABILITY OF PERSECUTION)
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST SHOULD INSPIRE LOYAL SOLIDARITY (TRUE UNITY) AND SUPERNATURAL CALM AS WE STRIVE TOGETHER TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL (WHILE ACCEPTING THE INEVITABILITY OF PERSECUTION)
I. (1:27a) THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST SHOULD BE THE INSPIRATION FOR OUR LIFESTYLE
A. General Exhortation (1:27a) "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ"
What value do we place on the gospel?
What type of a benchmark does the gospel provide for our lifestyle?
Opposition should not discourage us or tone down our level of commitment.
B. Specific Reasons (2:1) -- the fruit of the gospel in our life should inspire us to live worthy of such a high, privileged calling
1. Encouragement from being united with Christ
called alongside to aid; comfort and strengthening especially needed in context of suffering;
It is part of the prophet’s task to bring comfort (Is.40:1);
2. Comfort, Consolation stemming from love
(these first 2 are synonyms)
Christ is spoken of as "the consolation of Israel" (Lk. 2:25 -- fulfillment of Messianic hope with all that involved)
cf. 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1; Rom. 15:4-5; 2 Cor. 1
3. Fellowship generated and maintained by the Spirit
Subjective Genitive = fellowship produced by the Spirit (which would have to result in:)
Objective Gen. = fellowship with the Spirit -- an actual participation in the Spirit and in all of His benefits (which.would have to be produced by the Spirit as well)
4. Compassions and Mercies (affection and sympathy)
2 Cor. 1:3; Col. 3:12
Boice: "How does the matter of Christian unity stand with you? Are there divisions that ought not to exist? Are there hard feelings? Are there rationalizations for divisive, non-Christian conduct?"
How does our lifestyle measure up to these glorious blessings of the Gospel?
2 characteristics should be evident:
- loyal solidarity
- supernatural calm
II. (1:27b; 2:2) LOYAL SOLIDARITY IN STRIVING TOGETHER TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL
A. Motivation -- not only because this lifestyle is consistent with the gospel, but such loyal solidarity is expected and meets with the approval of spiritual leaders
"whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you"
"make my joy complete"
"standing firm in one spirit with one mind"
"being of the same mind"
"maintaining the same love"
"united in spirit "
"striving together for the faith of the Gospel"
"intent on one purpose" = the furthering of the Gospel and the magnifying of Christ
III. (1:28-30) SUPERNATURAL CALM IN ACCEPTING THE
INEVITABILITY OF PERSECUTION
A. Significance of Supernatural Calm
1. What it signifies about the ultimate destiny of your opponents
2. What it signifies about your ultimate destiny
B. Inevitability of Conflict --
the Source of the Conflict is the same as the Source of Salvation
C. Privilege of Fellowship With Christ in Suffering
"for Christ’s sake"
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1) What types of attitudes threaten the unity and solidarity of our local assembly? Are we secure enough in our unity together that we can be aggressive in reaching out to others with the gospel and contending for the faith or are we primarily passive and