Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phil. 1:27)
Whether present or away, this is the mode that Paul wanted the believers operate in, standing fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith. You could say, that’s the only acceptable modus operandi! The mode sounds good, but for me, it was still a little vague until I rewound the tape a few verses.
First Paul says he wants Christ to be magnified in his body, whether he lives or dies (Phil. 1:20).
Secondly, he states his whole purpose for living and his certainty of what awaits him if he should die, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).” Choice number one, then would be to die and go on for his heavenly reward which is better for Paul.
Thirdly, he knows that helping the believers at Philippi was the fruit of his labors of the work he was doing here on earth (Phil. 1:22).
Which leaves him with two options, and he is not sure which one he would choose. Choice number one again, is “far better” for Paul (Phil. 1:23). The second choice was not the best for him, but he says, “Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you (Phil 1:24).” For Paul to remain and minister would obviously be the best option for the Philippian believers. So does he think of what’s best for him or best for others?
Notice his announcement on the choice he has made:
“And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith (Phil. 1:25).”
He decided to remain to minister the Word of God to the Philippians for one reason, for the “furtherance and joy of their faith.” Another word for furtherance is progress. So we could say that Paul chose to stick around for one reason and one reason only, so they could further or progress in the faith.
So what does that have to do with standing fast, with one mind, striving together for the faith? I like to say, Paul wants them to be working together with one mind to reap the end time harvest by faith! Or we could say they were all working together with one mind for the advancement or furtherance of the gospel. OK, I have to refer to Nemo here. What happens when each fish does their own thing and swims in 100 different directions? Nothing! So, what happens when the fish all swim down, together? You know the story; the fish broke the net and swam to freedom.
When we all stand fast with one mind, side-by-side, working together for the advancement of the kingdom, the end time harvest will be reaped. That was to remain their focus, but there is another extremely important element. If this anointed teacher, author of over a third of the New Testament, stayed for the sole purpose to help the members to progress in their faith, and some decided not to progress, that would be disunity, discord, and disharmony! That would be tantamount to a group of fish just sitting there while the leader, Nemo, is screaming, “Swim down!” The fish that just sat there like a bump on a log, would be the weakest link and hinder the progress or breakthrough of the whole school. That’s selfish thinking!
Let us pray that we all stand fast today with one mind, working together in love to reap the end time harvest by faith. Let us all move forward and progress in our faith this year, in Jesus’ Name!