The Joy of Suffering in Christ
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Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
August 12, 2018
Central Passage
Philippians 1:27-30



Philippians 1:27-28 | Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Philippians 1:29-30 | For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


After taking a brief excursus to study verse 21 in more depth, we now return to our regular expositional walk through the epistle of Philippians. So far, Paul the apostle has expressed his great thanksgiving to God for the Philippians continued growth in Christ. He has also assured the Philippians that the LORD has providentially used his imprisonment for the advancement of the gospel, making Christ known to the Praetorian Guard and encouraging the boldness of other believers to preach the gospel.

In verses 18-26, Paul further applied that hope in the providence of God to his future, expressing his belief that he would be released from prison. But even though Paul believed that he would see the Philippians again, he assured them that even his death would be a means of God’s deliverance. In fact, after a long ministry of near constant suffering, Paul was ready to depart and be with Christ; however, he knew that it was better for believers like the Philippians that he would remain in the flesh for a little longer.

This context of Paul longing for the Philippians’ growth into maturity is crucial to understanding our present passage of study. The apostle’s primary concern was their progress and joy in the faith, and he now gives us a better idea of what exactly that is meant to look like. Paul’s hope was, of course, to see the Philippians again, but until that day, he urges them to let their manner of life be worthy of the gospel.


Read Philippians 1:27-30 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Philippians 1:27-30 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. How does Pauls command for us to live as citizens worthy of the gospel connect to our previous text? What characteristics does he list as being a citizen of heaven?
  3. What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven?
  4. In what ways do you (or do you not) live like a soldier and an athlete for the kingdom of God?
  5. What does Paul teach here about suffering? How does it relate to the Christian life?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?


Link to video played before sermon: Lachesism: Longing for the clarity of disaster