Our prayerful resolve as Hespeler Baptist Church is to walk worthy of the gospel in order to make disciples of Christ.
We seek to do this in the power of the Holy Spirit by:
- boldly standing for the faith of the gospel
- brightly shining for the hope of the gospel
- sacrificially serving out of love for the gospel
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ – Philippians 1:27a
Behind the phrase “let your manner of life be worthy” is this concept: behave as citizens. Behave as citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ. Christians are those who, through faith in Jesus Christ, belong to a new kingdom. The apostle Paul writes, “Our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Saviour. (Philippians 3:20).”
Belonging to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son means that our allegiance is to Jesus and Jesus alone. In this one phrase, the Word of God lays claim to every area of our lives. In every pursuit we are to keep one thing the main thing: making sure how we live is worthy of the gospel of Christ. Not worthy so that we can be saved, worthy because we have been saved.
Standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents – Philippians 1:27b-28a
As citizens in the Kingdom of God, we recognize that walking worthy of the gospel will require boldness, courage, and unity. That is nothing new. As Paul wrote this letter he was a prisoner for the gospel. The kingdom of darkness is opposed to the kingdom of light.
The gospel had opponents in the first century. The gospel has opponents now. While that reality saddens us, it does not surprise us. While none deliberately seek out suffering for Jesus’ sake, inevitably believers will to one degree or another experience persecution behaving as citizens of heaven.
But this should not silence us. Rather, boldly striving for the faith of the gospel means that we will continue to unashamedly speak about Jesus to others as individuals and as a church.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world. – Philippians 2:14-15
Walking worthy of the gospel requires more than unashamedly speaking about Jesus to others. What we say must be accompanied by a living example of the life-changing transformation Jesus has made in how we live.
In a broken world filled with disappointment, dissatisfaction, and disillusionment, supernatural joy is noticeable. So noticeable, in fact, that is stands out as a pinprick of light surrounded by inky blackness in the night sky.
Though we deserve nothing, in Christ we have been granted more than we could ask or imagine, which means no one else’s joy should eclipse our joy. The well of our joy is so profound and deep that it can be sustained through all of life’s ups and downs. When this is on display, we trust that God will grant us opportunity to explain the unquenchable hope that fuels our joy.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:1-4
The ultimate example of sacrifice is of course that of Jesus himself, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:6-9
This is the mindset we aim to have as those who desire to walk worthy of the gospel. Jesus first. Others second. Ourselves last. This means we must be willing to be those who will sacrifice our time, our resources, and offer the use of our gifts and talents to promote the gospel in our love for God and our neighbour.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11
Our great confidence in our endeavour to make disciples as we walk worthy of the gospel is rooted in the conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and that indeed, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, which compels us to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom as ambassadors of the King of kings and Lord of lords.