Phil 1:27 “Only conduct yourselves~~ in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that– whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent– I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
Every good parent attempts to instill in the hearts of his children the pride of their family name. The goal is to teach them to enhance their family’s reputation by faithful, heroic duty and service.
Paul thought his time might be short on earth due to his coming trial, so he gave a final exhortation to his beloved Philippian church (Phil 4:10–-18). He described his hope to return to them for “the sake of [their] progress and joy in the faith” so that their “proud confidence [or rejoicing] in [him] may be more abundant in Christ Jesus” (1:25–-26). Paul would go through anything to encourage them to be consistent and not discredit the gospel message.
Paul begins his exhortation with the word only, meaning the “one essential thing” is what follows. He commands them to “be continually conducting themselves” (lit. “to live as a good citizen”) according to the commands in Scripture.
Romans were to live in such a way as to bring honor to the political body they represented—-but of course Paul is referring to their heavenly citizenship (Phil 3:20; Eph 2:19).
The best way to live “in a manner worthy of the gospel” is to “please Him in every way, . . . [bear] fruit in every good work, [grow] in the knowledge of God, [and be] strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully [give] thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Col 1:10–-12).
Paul does not want them to change just because he might come see them; rather, he wants them to do so on their own, just because it is right. He asks them to “stand firm,” regardless of the dangers, as soldiers in rank, united with “one spirit, with one mind” in attitude and perspective to honor the word as they “[contend] side by side for the faith of the gospel” to unashamedly make it known to all. We must ask ourselves what we are doing to “conduct [ourselves]” to live “worthy of the gospel.”
“Lord, if everyone around me knew I was a follower of Christ, I would have to always reflect Your honor. Teach me to never be ashamed of You or Your word.”