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, 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. 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, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30 ESV)
“Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel,” have you ever thought through this statement? Have you ever pondered what it means to live worthy? It’s not like we could pay Jesus for what he has done for us. We could never make up for our sin! This verse isn’t asking us to do that, but Paul is commanding us to move forward in the power of the gospel!
I once heard a story about identical twin brothers. As they grew into adulthood they took two very different paths. One was a very moral, upstanding man the other became a drunk, was caught up in illegal gambling, and would often get in fights. One night the less moral brother got into a fight over a gambling debt and killed a man. He didn’t know what to do so he ran to his brothers house in the middle of the night.
“Brother, Brother, what do I do? I killed a man!” By now they could hear the police sirens in the distance and knew that they must be coming for the murderer. The good brother quickly insisted that they change clothes. “Here put on my clothes and I’ll wear your blood stained garments.” The murder sobbed and said, “No, their must be some other way!”
The good brother insisted that they change and soon the good brother was wearing the murders clothing complete with blood stains and the murderer found himself in a nice white shirt and slacks. Just before the police entered the house and began to take away the good brother and the murderer spoke up, “What do I do now?”
“Live like the man whose clothes you wear.” And from that day on he became someone different. He was often tempted to settle into old habits and go back to a lifestyle that he was familiar with, but he reached down and would feel the buttons on his shirt and remember, “I am someone different now.”
We were once guilty of great sin before a holy and righteous God. Jesus paid for our sin by his death on the cross and credited us with his righteousness so that not only are our sins not counted against us, but his goodness is counted for us. Sometimes when we are tempted to sin, we need to remind ourselves that we are different than we once were. The gospel gives us power to live every day different than we were before Christ. The gospel gives us boldness. We used to care what people think but now we care more about what God thinks. It doesn’t mean that at times we won’t be tempted, but the ability to resist the temptation comes from trusting that Jesus is enough. We need to be reminded of the gospel everyday because the gospel is important everyday.
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