COMBATTING FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL
Key Verse 1: 27
After expressing his testimony concerning his philosophy in the mission of God, Paul now exhorts the faithful to embrace the love of Christ. Regardless of his situation, Paul's exhortations were more than vigorous.
1. In a way worthy of the Gospel (27-28)
Paul was fond of the Philippians because they were faithful to God, but above all, they are the object of Jesus' affection. The gospel is precisely about this affection. We were worthy of eternal condemnation, but God sent his Son and delivered him to the cross, to make him suffer the punishment of death in our place. What to do after this Gospel? Now, it seems that Paul changed the tone. He wanted the Philippians to be the valiant soldiers of Christ. Many Christians already knew that Paul was a fervent defender of the Gospel (16). But Paul wanted the Philippians to realize that they had been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and live according to that grace. Their fight is not in front of the man, but before God, so does not depend on the presence of the servant. It is a fight not against man, but against the devil, therefore, they must be united in the same spirit and soul. if being intimidated, they will be doomed to defeat.
2. The grace of suffering (29-30)
This fight is universal because the devil is everywhere in the world. So being absent, Paul asked them to unite with him in the fight. The fight is also perpetual because the devil never rests. So Paul fought restlessly. The Philippians knew and wanted to participate through prayer and support. Paul emphasized that fighting and suffering from the devil is one of the immutable graces. Men appreciate, according to the etymological sense, receiving the pleasant grace, but avoiding the suffering without knowing that this one is a blessing. We must know that if we are forgiven, it is grace, and if we are called to fierce fighting, it is also grace !