Philippians 1:18b-30 (ESV)
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
27 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, 28 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. 29 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, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
- What does Apostle Paul see his life, even his personal difficulties, as an opportunity to do? Is there a difficult situation I am facing? How can Christ be honored through this situation?
- What are some examples of the world’s version of v. 21? Are there things in my life that compete with Christ?
- What does it mean concretely for my “manner of life” to “be worthy of the gospel of Christ”?
- What do the words “standing firm” and “striving” and “not frightened” imply about the nature of Christian life? What is Apostle Paul’s view towards suffering for the sake of Christ? What is my view towards suffering?