Summary: This sermon teaches principles of conduct for Christians living in a tough environment.
Introduction: Have you ever been around when someone dropped a contact lens? When that happens everyone is careful in where they step. Nobody wants to crush another person’s contact lense. Even so, we believers should be careful where we step. We do not want to step on another person’s soul. Paul deals with this issue in Philippians 1:27-30. He gives spiritual guidance in watching our step. These principles will help guide us in protecting our testimony. Notice four words of caution.
1. We should walk with consistency. In verse 27 Paul tells us to "let our conduct be worthy of the gospel." The word "conduct" is a word that refers to equal weight. In other words we are to let our conduct weight the same as our profession. Another translation might be “practice what you preach.”
* We should be consistent with our language.
* We should be consistent with our attitude.
* We should be consistent with our family life.
* We should be consisten with our moral life.
2. We should walk with stability. In verse 27 Paul encourages us to "stand fast."
A. We should stand fast in the face of hardship. Paul and the early believers faced much persecution.
B. We should stand fast when we are discouraged.
3. We should walk in unity. There was a problem with dis-unity in the church at Philippi. Paul encourages them to stand fast "in one spirit, with one mind striving together." The word “strive” is the word from which we get the word athletic. In other words believers are to work together in a spirit of team-work. Many people have been harmed by division and disharmony in the body of Christ.
4. We should walk with courage. Paul speaks of "striving together for the faith of the gospel." Paul was in chains when he wrote Philippians. He displayed a courage for the gospel. As we courageously stand up for Jesus we walk in a way that communicates a clear message to others.
A. We should be courageous in our testimony.
B. We should be courageous in our words.
As we fulfill these four obligations we will walk in a way to avoid stepping on other’s souls. God wants us to protect our testimony.