25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
26so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
29For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
30experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Continuing from what Paul was saying yesterday, that his mission on earth is not yet complete, he is confident in that and states he will keep in contact with the church since he will not be killed just yet. He hopes that his release and visit to Philippi will only glorify God more. Even if he is not able to make it (for nobody knows the future but God), he prays that the church remain united in the goal of furthering God’s kingdom. This is how our church should be.
When I say “our church” I don’t mean a specific church, rather the Body of Christ. All of us Christians must remain united. Regardless of our differences (thanks to the prideful heart of man) we must still recognize that we are all loved equally and perfectly by God. So, we shouldn’t have it “out for each other.” If we do, we should seek reconciliation because that is not “firm in one spirit.”
He goes on to mention not being alarmed by your opponents. You see, we are waging in war daily. If we stumble or falter, in this case represented by not being firm and united, it will give them a victory to celebrate. Rather, we should be with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
It is not easy, in fact we will have to suffer for His sake. This is but one time we are reminded that a Christian life is not an easy life. We must look at this suffering as an honor. Paul’s last statement here shows that we all suffer similarly, although it may look different. He writes from a prison awaiting trial while they are simply living life facing daily persecution from unbelievers. In that, we too are united and with God’s strength can stand strong against it. I recently had some conversations pointing towards us. If you are a Christ follower and you are not being persecuted or attacked, its a sign you aren’t doing something. The enemy won’t attack you if you are ignoring God and His purpose for our lives. But, as we bring glory to God, however that may be, the enemy will fight back and try to derail it.
So I ask you, how are you being persecuted today?