Philippians 1:28b-30        NIV

Philippians 1:28b-30        NIV

March 29, 2021 – Monday

Philippians 1:28b-30        NIV

28b This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 

29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, 

30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Comment 

I’m curious, when you  read the above, do you get it or do you have to read further (earlier verses) for context in this section? Or do you  have to read the entire chapter as these are the last 3 verses. In case some context may help; Paul is writing this epistle from jail (house arrest) in Rome and he is writing it to the members and leaders of the church at Philippi. His purpose in writing the letter is to encourage all the members of the church.

Me? I had to read the whole chapter and summarize prior to this section to help provide context. Next, in v3-11 Paul gives thanks for his memories of them when he had established a church in Philippi  eleven years earlier (Acts 16:11-40). Then Paul prays for them, with hope they will be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.  

Next in verses 12-26, Paul encourages them even though he is in chains and still proclaiming the gospel without fear. Then he notes some are preaching the gospel out of goodwill and also for all kinds of negative reasons. Then he says v18, But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. He could say this because he knew the Lord was in control and even while in Rome in prison. Plus, he believed (knew) the Philippians were praying for him and that along with the Spirit of Jesus were sustaining him. Further, his imprisonment was not a punishment but an opportunity to serve God under those conditions. This was because his only goal was to glorify God, glorify Jesus. He did not worry about dying because for him v21, For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. He longed to be in heaven with Jesus. Still, he was ready to continue on with his duties in the flesh to serve Christ.

Now we come to the section containing our verses for today, and let us look at them together v27-30, Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. And now our verses for today, This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Truth be told, context really helps. From the above and in Acts we know Paul has been through all kinds of suffering and his first piece of advice is, Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. He advises this so that, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. Thus, he warns them they will likely face opposition but by striving together they can face it without being frightened.

When they stive together in one Spirit, this becomes a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. This does not mean those opposing them will be destroyed then, but they will face eternal damnation if they do not change their ways while the faithful will be saved to eternal life with Jesus.

Then Paul concludes with, For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. He is telling them (and us) along with their faith and the blessings they received because of their faith, they will also be granted the honor of suffering for Him as Paul has done. Let God use you as He has used Paul and rejoice that He does so. It is all to glorify God, so stand firm in the faith.

Prayer: Father God, no matter the circumstances I find myself in, help me to always honor and glorify You and Your Son, My Lord and Savior. Use me as You wish. – In Jesus Name. Amen.

RileyD, nwJ
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton