Glorifying God; Our Chiefest Calling
“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” – Philippians 1:27
Whether you want to admit it or not, your life is constantly on display for the entire world to see, study, and dissect. Paul obviously had this sobering truth in mind as he stressed to these early Christians the vital importance of living up to the gospel. Certainly the old adage is true; actions really do speak louder than words. Verbally lifting up the gospel is done so in vain if the words are not backed up by a life that also magnifies the gospel of Christ. Specifically, Paul lovingly reminds the church that they are to behave in a Christ like manner (Ch 1 vs. 27-30), and strive for unity within the body of Christ (Ch 2 vs. 1-3). They are to go against the grain of this selfish world by living lives marked with selflessness. They are not to be motivated by personal agendas, but are to place the interests of others over their own (Ch 2 vs. 1-4). Furthermore, he points out that such Christian conduct and unity only can only be obtained when they reflect the same humble attitude exemplified by Christ Jesus (Ch 2 vs. 5-8). Paul culminates all of these wonderful truths by reminding them that their humble Savior is truly the one and only exalted Savior; the Savior to whom every soul will one day bow their knee to and confess Him as Lord (Ch 2 vs. 9-11).
So it is in the richness and fullness of this great text that we find a plethora of marvelous truths that should be gleaned from and grafted into the life of each and every believer. Unfortunately, these nuggets of truth are too numerous for an effective exposition of the text in our short time together. However, all of these themes of Christian living do fall under the umbrella of one primary theme. What is this theme? It is the theme of glorifying God. Now this might seem basic and elementary, but we must remember how easy it is to slip on the slope of self interest as we go through life! We are not to demonstrate Christian conduct for the sake of being good. We demonstrate Christian conduct so our light will shine before men, and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). So it is not that we behave appropriately simply for our own benefit or for even the benefit of the church. Rather, we do so for the sole purpose of glorifying God. If we have any other motive, then we are guilty of setting up idols, and we harbor a motivation that is nourished and coddled by selfishness and personal agenda (Ch 2 vs. 4).
I want to encourage you to pray specifically by asking God to open your eyes wider to all of these beautiful truths. Ask God to cultivate these Christian attributes deeper into the soil of your heart. At the same time, ask Him to expose any hidden motives that might be compressed in the crevices of your heart. And as you pray, remember that learning the gospel and loving the gospel are not complete without living the gospel, which can only be done with a pure desire to glorify God.
– Pastor Eric