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Philippians 1:27

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel - The apostle considers the Church at Philippi as a free or imperial city, which possesses great honors, dignities, and privileges; and he exhorts them to act, αξιως, worthy of or suitably to those honors and privileges. This is the idea that is expressed by the word πολιτευεσθε, act according to the nature of your political situation, the citizenship and privileges which you possess in consequence of your being free inhabitants of Christ's imperial city, the Church. The apostle resumes the same metaphor, Philemon 3:20; : ἡμων - το πολιτευμα εν ουρανοις ὑπαρχει· For our citizenship is in heaven; but in this last verse he puts heaven in the place of the Church, and this is all right; for he, who is not a member of the Church of Christ on earth, can have no right to the kingdom of heaven, and he who does not walk worthy of the Gospel of Christ cannot be counted worthy to enter through the gates into the city of the eternal King.

Whether I come and see you - Leaving the matter still in doubt as to them, whether he should again visit them.

In one spirit - Being all of one mind under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Striving together - Συναθλουντες· Wrestling together, not in contention with each other, but in union against the enemies of the Gospel faith - the doctrine of Christ crucified, and freedom from all Mosaic rites and ceremonies, as well as from sin and perdition, through his passion and sacrifice.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Only let your conversation - The word “conversation” we now apply almost exclusively to oral discourse, or to talking. But it was not formerly confined to that and is never so used in the Scriptures. It means conduct in general - including, of course, our manner of speaking, but not limited to that - and should be so understood in every place where it occurs in the Bible. The original word used here - πολιτεύω politeuō- means properly “to administer the state; to live as a citizen; to conduct oneself according to the laws and customs of a state;” see Acts 23:1; compare examples in Wetstein. It would not be improperly rendered: “let your conduct as a citizen be as becomes the gospel;” and might without impropriety, though not exclusively, be referred to our deportment as members of a community, or citizens of a state. It undoubtedly implies that, as citizens, we should act, in all the duties which that relation involves - in maintaining the laws, in submission to authority, in the choice of rulers, etc., as well as in other relations - on the principles of the gospel; for the believer is bound to perform every duty on Christian principles. But the direction here should not be confined to that. It doubtless includes our conduct in all relations in life, and refers to our deportment in general; not merely as citizens of the state, but as members of the church, and in all other relations. In our manner of speech, our plans of living, our dealings with others, our conduct and walk in the church and out of it - all should be done as becomes the gospel. The direction, therefore, in this place, is to be understood of everything pertaining to conduct.

As it becometh the gospel of Christ -

(1) The rules of the gospel are to be applied to all our conduct - to our conversation, business transactions, modes of dress, style of living, entertainments, etc. There is nothing which we do, or say, or purpose, that is to be excepted from those rules.

(2) there is a way of living which is appropriate to the gospel, or which is such as the gospel requires. There is something which the gospel would secure as its proper fruits in all our conduct, and by which our lives should be regulated. It would distinguish us from the frivolous, and from those who seek honor and wealth as their supreme object. If all Christians were under the influence of the gospel, there would be something in their dress, temper, conversation, and aims, which would distinguish them from others; The gospel is not a thing of nothing; nor is it intended that it should exert no influence on its friends.

(3) it is very important that Christians should frame their lives by the rules of the gospel, and, to this end, should study them and know what they are. This is important:

(a)because they are the best and wisest of all rules;

(b)because it is only in this way that Christians can do good;

(c)because they have solemnly covenanted with the Lord to take his laws as their guide;

(d)because it is only in this way that they can enjoy religion; and,

(e)because it is only by this that they can have peace on a dying bed.

If people live as “becometh the gospel,” they live well. Their lives are honest and honorable; they are people of truth and uprightness; they will have no sources of regret when they die, and they will not give occasion to their friends to hang their heads with shame in the remembrance of them. No man on a dying bed ever yet regretted that he had framed his life by the rules of the gospel, or felt that his conduct had been conformed too much to it.

That whether I come and see you - Alluding to the possibility that he might be released, and be permitted to visit them again.

Or else be absent - Either at Rome, still confined, or released, and permitted to go abroad.

I may hear of your affairs … - I may hear always respecting you that you are united, and that you are vigorously striving to promote the interests of the gospel.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those who profess the gospel of Christ, should live as becomes those who believe gospel truths, submit to gospel laws, and depend upon gospel promises. The original word "conversation" denotes the conduct of citizens who seek the credit, safety, peace, and prosperity of their city. There is that in the faith of the gospel, which is worth striving for; there is much opposition, and there is need of striving. A man may sleep and go to hell; but he who would go to heaven, must look about him and be diligent. There may be oneness of heart and affection among Christians, where there is diversity of judgment about many things. Faith is God's gift on the behalf of Christ; the ability and disposition to believe are from God. And if we suffer reproach and loss for Christ, we are to reckon them a gift, and prize them accordingly. Yet salvation must not be ascribed to bodily afflictions, as though afflictions and worldly persecutions deserved it; but from God only is salvation: faith and patience are his gifts.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 69.1

Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27. UL 69.1

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 88.2

Look at the cross of Calvary. It is a standing pledge of the boundless love, the measureless mercy, of the heavenly Father. O that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this, they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not vex Ephraim. Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples should be one, even as He and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the true Witness, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). The people of God will be abiding in Christ, the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing all in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the true Vine, all will be united to Christ, the living head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ's church it will be proved that God sent His only begotten Son into the world.... TDG 88.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 78.6

The Lord now calls upon the men chosen for His work to stand as one man for the advancement of the cause of Christ.—Letter 112, March 10, 1907, to the directors of the Nashville Sanitarium and the Southern Union Conference. TDG 78.6

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 178.3

Faultfinding Opens the Door for Satan—Fathers and mothers, be on guard. Let your conversation in the home be pleasant and encouraging. Always speak kindly, as if in the presence of Christ. Let there be no faultfinding, no accusing. Words of this kind wound and bruise the soul. It is natural for human beings to speak sharp words. Those who yield to this inclination open the door for Satan to enter their hearts and to make them quick to remember the mistakes and errors of others. Their failings are dwelt upon, their deficiencies noted, and words are spoken that cause a lack of confidence in one who is doing his best to fulfill his duty as a laborer together with God. Often the seeds of distrust are sown because one thinks that he ought to have been favored but was not.—Letter 169, 1904. 1MCP 178.3

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