The Christian Life is a Battleground

Purpose

Because of Paul’s chains, Christ was known (v. 13), because of his critics, Christ was preached (v. 18), and because of his crises, Christ was magnified (v.20). Paul’s main purpose in living was to glorify Christ and yet he knew that if he was martyred he would also glorify Him through his testimony (vv. 21-22).

For people who do not know the Lord, life on earth is striving for this world’s values, money, popularity, power, pleasure and prestige. For the apostle Paul his main purpose in living was to develop eternal values and to tell others about Christ. In fact he was hard pressed to know which would bring the most glory to God. His personal desire was to depart and be with the Lord (v. 23). This he knew would be better for him as it would mean his release from persecutions and other hardships he suffered. However he knew that the Philippians needed him and the Lord had more work for him to do (vv. 24-25). I want to cause your life to be more abundant in Christ (v. 26).

Paul says that the most important weapon we have against the enemy is a consistent life. Paul is suggesting that we Christians are citizens of heaven, and while we are on earth we need to behave like heaven’s citizens (v. 27). It takes great courage for a church to resist infighting and to maintain the common purpose of serving Christ.

Application

A good question for me to ask myself regularly is, “Am I conducting myself in a manner that fulfills His purpose for my life?

Philippians 1:22-30 (English Standard Version)

If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

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