Day 5 - Phiippians 1:27-28

lone ranger

If I had to list the few most influential books in my life, Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be on that list. Near the top. 

Bonhoeffer reminds us that "Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ." In other words, there are no "Lone Ranger" Christians. When you accept Christ, you become part of His family, and His family is the Church.
(By the way, even the Lone Ranger really wasn't! He needed Tonto!)

Paul knew that. When he talked about what it means to 
Live life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27) he meant living as part of the Christian community.
A Christian who says "I don't need to be an active part of a local church" is like a fish saying "I don't need to be in the water." 

What does it mean to live worthy of the Gospel? It means living in real Christian fellowship. Actually, I prefer the word partnership to fellowship, because the word fellowship has been watered down to mean coffee and cookies together. Partnership means "I'm all in with you, and our lives are committed together to this Jesus thing."
You are all partners with me in grace… Philippians 1:7.

Paul explains what this partnership looks like: You are standing firm together in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. ~Phil 1:27-28

  • standing firmly together (unity awareness… we know we need each other!)
  • in one spirit (a deep spirit level unity in the Holy Spirit!)
  • with one mind (not agreement on every detail, but a single understanding of our purpose and a common commitment to it)
  • working side by side for the faith (No Lone Rangers. Ours is a mutual ministry)
  • not frightened in any way by your opponents (facing resistance and difficulties together. No one should face the enemy alone!)

This should describe the fellowship/partnership of the local church!
Does it describe your local church? Are you committed to being in that kind of partnership with the body of Christ?

There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Rather, we are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel.

Paul reminds us that this is from God. ~Phil 1:28. We can’t do this in our strength, but only by receiving it as a gift from God! Its in the power of God’s Spirit that we live worthy of the Gospel in partnership!

____________________________________________________________________


Note: This is the fifth in a series of daily postings on Philippians. You can start at the beginning by clicking here: 
Philippians 1:1