The Faith of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been raised (spiritually) to an elevated position, seated with Christ at the right hand of God. This is why God can give to us, His beloved children, spiritual wisdom and understanding in the true knowledge of Him. Philippians continues on with this wonderful knowledge that continues opening our eyes that we may truly see.

Philippians 1:27 – Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

The word “conversation” is the word in the Greek Text for citizenship, for according to God’s Word our citizenship is already in heaven. The Scripture is imploring us to conduct our lives as heavenly citizens worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Paul says that whether he is present or absent that he wanted to hear that their Christian lives were being conducted as those who were standing fast in one spirit, and standing together in the knowledge of their citizenship. Paul wanted the believers to be of the same mind working together for the faith of the Gospel. The faith of the Gospel is our believing that God Almighty has indeed called us into the Gospel, and into His family, and that we can believe this together as members of the household of God.

Philippians 1:28-29:
-28:  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of {or from} God.
-29:  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

God’s healing Word encourages us not to be terrified, not to have fear about our adversaries, our opponents. In this life there are people who think we are off our rockers simply because we believe in that which is unseen (John 20:29). Our own personal adversaries sometimes scrutinize the way we walk before God, they even try to throw hurdles (by words or deeds) in our way to trip us up simply out of spite. This reminds me of the Psalm “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah” (Psalms 57:6). This is to them the “evident token of perdition” for they reap what they themselves sow. However, for us who do believe and continue standing, we will be receiving proof of our own salvation, and spiritual wholeness, and that is from God.

We are citizens of heaven itself, and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course of this world. This is given to us “in the behalf of Christ” because he was our substitute for sin and all its consequences. Then verse 29 concludes with “but also to suffer for his sake.” This phrase has been used incorrectly and totally out of context, because the word “suffer” does not imply that we should allow our adversaries to cause us to suffer in any way. Rather the word means to endure with ever increasing experience, for not only are we going to heaven, but when we endure we will become stronger, setting even greater examples for one another who believe that God does deliver His children. When we have complete faith in the Gospel, knowing that God does deliver His children (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 1:10), and knowing that He has already given us a standing with Him, then our faith – our believing faith in the Gospel – will continue to strengthen and inspire us with godly blessings.