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Philippians 1:27-2:11

Philippians 1:27-2:11


Series: Philippians
Sermon: Gospel Centered Lifestyle
Bible Passage: Phil 1:27-2:16

I. Background:

1. Disunity: Euodia and Synteche
2. Introduction of imperial worship and opposition to Christian faith

II. In Phil 1:27-2:16 Paul talks about Christian lifestyle with one exhortation: “only live worthy of the Gospel of Christ”

1. The Greek word politeuomai is interpreted differently as follows:

a. “conduct yourself in a manner” NET/NIV/NASV
b. “let your conversation” KJV

2. With this word, Paul refers to:

a. One’s conduct in relationship with others based on a set of values or laws
b. Mutual responsibility towards one another as members of a society or church as a covenant community
c. Norm for behavior in a society

III. In this passage, he recommends two different lifestyles: (1) External and (2) Internal

1. For external lifestyle, Paul provides the model
2. For internal lifestyle, Jesus provides the model
3. First, let’s talk about the external lifestyle (1:28-30)

a. Paul’s desire is that the Philippian believers would live in such a way to advance the Gospel just as he has been (verses 28-30)
b. There were threats from opponents, most likely from those who mandated emperor cult (verse 29)
c. The lifestyle of these believers in the midst of rising threats is:

i. Unity in purpose (1:27)
ii. In one spirit (ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι)
iii. With one mind (μιᾷ ψυχῇ)
iv. They must present a united, unwavering push against the threats just as a gladiator or wrestler would do in the arena (συναθλέω vs ἀγών) (verse 28)

IV. Now, let’s move to internal lifestyle: Paul suggests four essentials (2:1-11)

1. Being like-minded

a. (2:2 be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose)
b. To have a common goal and to have unity in purpose—It is a sign of friendship
c. “Same love” refers to a love that focuses on others (cf. 1:9)—model of Jesus Christ

2. Regarding the other person better than oneself

a. (2:3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself)
b. Absence of self-centered priorities
c. Not having relationships purely for personal reasons and not to use the other person for one’s advantage
d. The other person is also created in the image of God; Jesus died for the other person as much as He died for me; and the other person is going to heaven just as I will also be in heaven

3. Looking to the interest of the other person

a. This attitude builds team spirit
b. No competition, but complement
c. Euodia and Synteche almost brought division in the church

4. Humility in relationship (2:5)

a. Jesus provides us the model (2:5-8)
b. Relationship is modeled after the Triune God
c. God the Father provides the real exaltation, which all followers of Jesus must seek after

V. Take Away

Imitate Jesus with regard to your relationships

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at