Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)
What does it mean to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ?
Do I need to be perfect?
Should I strive to be sinless?
What if I sin again?
Here are a few thoughts on what it’s not followed by what it is according to Scriptures.
What “living a life worthy of the gospel” is not:
1. A way by which we can earn our salvation.
No one can ever receive God’s forgiveness and redemption by his own merit. As Isaiah puts it, “our righteousness is as filthy rags.” (Is. 64:6) Our personal righteousness doesn’t measure up to the standards of God’s holiness.
2. A way to perfection.
Perfection can never be achieved apart from the imputation or transfer of Christ’s perfect moral record upon our imperfect moral record. When a person comes to faith in Christ, a divine exchange happens – Christ’s righteousness upon us and our unrighteousness upon Him.
3. A way to gain more favor from God.
To a person who has been rescued by Jesus’ gospel redemption, there’s no additional favor to gain for he already has the full extent of God’s love and favor through Christ.
As a result, the saying is true –
There’s nothing you can do to make God love you less
nor make Him love you more.
In Christ, we have the full extent of His love.
For God demonstrates His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Man’s depravity forever excludes him from being “worthy of the gospel.
His salvation merits his uncompromising, unmitigated, undying commitment to live as those who are saved by the only One able to save and the only One who is worthy of praise. (Tony Miano)
What then, does it mean to live a life worthy of the gospel?
It is living a life consistent with God’s Word resulting from being justified by Christ alone through His work of redemption. In other words, as Paul puts it, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old is gone and the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Only he who has been changed on the inside will be able to demonstrate that on the outside by the power of the Holy Spirit. What comes after salvation is the sanctifying work of the Spirit to change us to become more like Christ. This too, is by His grace.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be the atoning sacrifice for my sin. I understand that I am saved not by my good works but only through Christ’s work on the cross. Help to me to grasp that in a greater way and embrace it more and more as each day would pass. By Your grace, help me to live for You in the power of the Holy Spirit so I can live a life that brings glory to Your name. May my life be pleasing to You and You alone. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.