Part 4 Study in Philippians 1:27-2:4“27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” — Philippians 1:27

Recently I’ve been seeing people post certain memes on Facebook that although I know are they meant to be funny or a little “tongue and cheek” give me caution:

“I’m a Christian, but don’t mess with me, I’m from the south side of the kingdom”

“Holy enough to pray for you, hood enough to swing on you.”

“I love God, but I curse a little”

Here is my thought, I know that none of us are perfect, but have we completely given up on holiness?

Have we determined that holiness is so far out of reach, we are going to settle for a slightly better version of ourselves rather than strive to be like Christ?

Paul admonished the believers at Philippi to “let their conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” In essence, he was saying, “Don’t claim to love Jesus yet not live in accordance with God’s word.”

There is nothing that cripples the church more than people who claim to live like Christ, but don’t execute and then make excuses for why they don’t. One of my greatest concerns is how casually Christians pardon their own poor behavior.

Our lives are supposed to be a reflection of Christ, by pardoning our own bad behavior we diminish how people see Jesus.

Believe it or not, holiness matters to God. Take sometime to read 1 Peter 1:16, 2 Corinthians 7:1 and Hebrews 12:14. Holiness for many though, unfortunately, has become more of a lofty idea than a practical pursuit.

True holiness sets us apart from a world steeped in sin. Perhaps that is why many refuse to pursue it, because holiness reaps you a reputation by setting you apart.

Paul said, whether I come and see you or “hear about your affairs.” Paul wanted the church to have a reputation of unity that proceeded them. A reputation reaped from being unified by a shared purpose (the gospel) and by shared experiences (sufferings).

“For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” — Philippians 1:29

Holiness often bears with it some degree of suffering. This, also, poses a problem for some. When you couple being set apart with suffering you find that many people will opt to be satisfied with simply bettering themselves than becoming like Christ.

They adopt an “I’m holy enough” attitude. An attitude that says, “I may not be like Jesus, but I’m better than I was.”

I don’t think that is what God meant by “Be Holy as I am Holy.”

God didn’t send His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we could adopt an “I’m holy enough” attitude.

His desire is that our conduct would be worthy of the Gospel!

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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