Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Conduct of a Soldier: Striving Together for the Faith in ONE Mind

Scripture: Philippians 1:27
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Insights: The Greek word for striving found here in verse twenty-seven is athleho from which we get our English word athlete.  Just as there are many different skill sets on an athletic team the same is true of a military analogy.  And considering I am writing this week about us being good soldiers defending the faith I will use that analogy.  In the military you have mechanics, cooks, administrators, commanding officers, soldiers and the list goes on and on.  The point is this: the Holy Spirit is the One who determines what your spiritual giftedness is.  It is for this reason we stand firm in ONE Spirit.  He dispenses the gifts as He sees fit.  At the same time, the entire military unit has one objective: win the war.  That purpose is where this second aspect of striving together for the faith comes into play.  Notice with what we use for our striving together: ONE mind.  Again, Paul is pointing to the unity needed in the body of Christ.  Secondly, he is telling us where this standard for the unity is learned when he writes about the mind.  As we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word we are growing in our faith and in our ability to strive together for the defense of the faith.  So, we must commit to having daily quiet times with the Lord.  Every believer knows they are supposed to spend time every day in the Bible, but the reality is very few actually do spend time in God’s Word.  It is for this reason I think we see the church in such a divided state.  We don’t actually know what God has to say to us because we don’t actually spend time with Him in His Word.  Notice as well, Paul says striving together.  This denotes the corporate aspect of growing in God’s Word.  This points to our attending Sunday School classes, sermons, Bible studies (whether that be Home Group, Wednesday night or some other time with a group of believers studying the Bible).  Returning to the athletic analogy for just a moment, we can’t know how we are going to get the ball down the field until we know the play book.  The Bible is our play book for life.  We must study It and know It and pass It on to new believers.

  1. Are you spending time daily with God in His Word?
  2. Are you entrusting, making new disciples, the Word to other people?
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your Scriptures.  They are words of life and point me to You.  May I grow in Your grace regarding the Word and may it come alive in my life.  Amen. 

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