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Let Your Life be Worthy of the Gospel
Main point : "Let your life be worthy of the gospel.
Published June 12th, 2015
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2015-06-06 13:32:11
2015-06-14 21:19:38
Main point : "Let your life be worthy of the gospel... in order that I can know you are saved!" That's the logic of vv.27-28. Paraphrase : "Let your life be worthy of the gospel... in order that I can know you are saved!" The way in which I know you are saved is if there is unity amongst spiritual suffering." ( see first question below ) Outline : the main point is found in vv.27a with the imperative: "live worthily of the gospel." Everything else is reason (vv.27b-28) and support (vv.29-30) for that imperative. Question (v.27a) : Is "living a life worthy of the gospel" the same thing as or different from "standing firm in one Spirit...etc" (so, synonymous with the ὅτι clause)? Or is the content of "living worthy of the gospel" found somewhere else/something else - perhaps the explanation below - and thus not in this present section? In other words, what does it mean to live a life "worthy" of the gospel? First, let us describe what v.27a does not mean. It does not mean, live in such a way that you may inherit or earn the benefits of the gospel (see 3:9). To say it one way, Paul is not talking about living a life up to the gospel, but a life downstream from the gospel. Paul is talking to believers - those who already are saved. Here's a word picture: think of a mountain. Paul is not talking about the journey "up" the mountain, as if the Christian life is a journey up the mountain and if you work hard and perform the law well, at the top you will reach and attain the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's not a "worthy" life for Paul (3:7-8). Rather, Paul is talking about the trip "down" the hill, the implications of the gospel when it has already been received. By faith God has already in Christ brought us up to the hilltop of grace (with NO help from us to get thee) and he has given us the gospel. And now Paul is talking about the trip back down the hill - a life after the gospel has been received. So, what does it mean to "let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel"? I think it means, to paraphrase, Live in such a way that shows you are under the gospel; live in accordance with one who has received the gospel. For example, say you've been made captain of the sports team. The idea here would be to lead in a way that is worthy of being a captain/leader of others. You ARE a captain, so lead like one. Don't lead in a contrary manner to who you are. In the same way, Paul is saying, live like one who has received grace. You have been "marked" by the gospel. So let your "downstream" actions flow from the fountain-head of the gospel. In short, live like one who has received the gospel. "You know how to live as a citizen of Philippi. Live like a citizen of heaven." We're not working to the gospel - as if we can somehow be "worthy enough" to attain the benefits of the gospel; rather, all of life flows from the gospel. But is there anything specific, in the immediate context, that suggests Paul has something specific in mind? A: O'Brien seems to tie "living worthily of the gospel" closely with "standing firm in one spirit." Question (v.28): In what way is the church's unity/not being frightened a present (inaugurated) sign of judgment/destruction for unbelievers and "salvation" for believers? In what way is steadfastness despite opposition a "sign" to unbelievers an believers alike? For believers, see Silva's paraphrase via the exegetical notes. See exegetical notes for views from Fee and O'Brien. Question (vv.29-30): How are these verses a ground for the argument that what is happening to them is a sign of their salvation from God (vv.27-28 - the main point of vv.27-28)? These verses are "support" for the fact that their unity and suffering is from God as a sign of their salvation. The Philippians' "salvation" consists of two pieces, expressed positively and negatively in vv.27-28. These two positive/negative pieces are God's "gifts" to his Church, his true people: belief and suffering, the two same positive/negative aspects we see in vv.27-28. A "sign" to God's people in the church of their salvation is their unity amongst suffering. This is so because Paul says, "this is a sign of your salvation...: when you have opponents you are unified as a body." And God himself has granted these two aspects to his church. So how do you know if your "saved" in these verses? If there is unity amongst spiritual suffering. "This is a sign of our salvation, because God has given us these things." Summary of Philippians 1 : Two-pronged aim: Focus and Form (1) Focus: Joy in the advance of the gospel 1:4-5, 12-18, 21-26, 27 (2) Form: Living worthily of the gospe l 1:9-11, 15-18 (those who preach Christ rightly), 20-21, 1:27 Taken this way, section (2) is really subordinate to section (1) - the advance of the gospel. For Paul, everything serves this purpose.
11433597531769 1433597531759 Notes 2015-06-06 13:32:11 2015-06-14 21:19:38 Main point : "Let your life be worthy of the gospel... in order that I can know you are saved!" That's the logic of vv.27-28. Paraphrase : "Let your life be worthy of the gospel... in order that I can know you are saved!" The way in which I know you are saved is if there is unity amongst spiritual suffering." ( see first question below ) Outline : the main point is found in vv.27a with the imperative: "live worthily of the gospel." Everything else is reason (vv.27b-28) and support (vv.29-30) for that imperative. Question (v.27a) : Is "living a life worthy of the gospel" the same thing as or different from "standing firm in one Spirit...etc" (so, synonymous with the ὅτι clause)? Or is the content of "living worthy of the gospel" found somewhere else/something else - perhaps the explanation below - and thus not in this present section? In other words, what does it mean to live a life "worthy" of the gospel? First, let us describe what v.27a does not mean. It does not mean, live in such a way that you may inherit or earn the benefits of the gospel (see 3:9). To say it one way, Paul is not talking about living a life up to the gospel, but a life downstream from the gospel. Paul is talking to believers - those who already are saved. Here's a word picture: think of a mountain. Paul is not talking about the journey "up" the mountain, as if the Christian life is a journey up the mountain and if you work hard and perform the law well, at the top you will reach and attain the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's not a "worthy" life for Paul (3:7-8). Rather, Paul is talking about the trip "down" the hill, the implications of the gospel when it has already been received. By faith God has already in Christ brought us up to the hilltop of grace (with NO help from us to get thee) and he has given us the gospel. And now Paul is talking about the trip back down the hill - a life after the gospel has been received. So, what does it mean to "let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel"? I think it means, to paraphrase, Live in such a way that shows you are under the gospel; live in accordance with one who has received the gospel. For example, say you've been made captain of the sports team. The idea here would be to lead in a way that is worthy of being a captain/leader of others. You ARE a captain, so lead like one. Don't lead in a contrary manner to who you are. In the same way, Paul is saying, live like one who has received grace. You have been "marked" by the gospel. So let your "downstream" actions flow from the fountain-head of the gospel. In short, live like one who has received the gospel. "You know how to live as a citizen of Philippi. Live like a citizen of heaven." We're not working to the gospel - as if we can somehow be "worthy enough" to attain the benefits of the gospel; rather, all of life flows from the gospel. But is there anything specific, in the immediate context, that suggests Paul has something specific in mind? A: O'Brien seems to tie "living worthily of the gospel" closely with "standing firm in one spirit." Question (v.28): In what way is the church's unity/not being frightened a present (inaugurated) sign of judgment/destruction for unbelievers and "salvation" for believers? In what way is steadfastness despite opposition a "sign" to unbelievers an believers alike? For believers, see Silva's paraphrase via the exegetical notes. See exegetical notes for views from Fee and O'Brien. Question (vv.29-30): How are these verses a ground for the argument that what is happening to them is a sign of their salvation from God (vv.27-28 - the main point of vv.27-28)? These verses are "support" for the fact that their unity and suffering is from God as a sign of their salvation. The Philippians' "salvation" consists of two pieces, expressed positively and negatively in vv.27-28. These two positive/negative pieces are God's "gifts" to his Church, his true people: belief and suffering, the two same positive/negative aspects we see in vv.27-28. A "sign" to God's people in the church of their salvation is their unity amongst suffering. This is so because Paul says, "this is a sign of your salvation...: when you have opponents you are unified as a body." And God himself has granted these two aspects to his church. So how do you know if your "saved" in these verses? If there is unity amongst spiritual suffering. "This is a sign of our salvation, because God has given us these things." Summary of Philippians 1 : Two-pronged aim: Focus and Form (1) Focus: Joy in the advance of the gospel 1:4-5, 12-18, 21-26, 27 (2) Form: Living worthily of the gospe l 1:9-11, 15-18 (those who preach Christ rightly), 20-21, 1:27 Taken this way, section (2) is really subordinate to section (1) - the advance of the gospel. For Paul, everything serves this purpose. notes
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