Philippians 1:26-30
Phil 1:26 (KJB)
That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
The Philippians had rejoiced much over the Apostle Paul and here Paul is telling them that their rejoicing in Christ will be made much more when he is allowed to come visit them. He also states that the source of their rejoicing is not really him but in Jesus Christ. When one becomes saved they receive joy, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ was always the focus of Paulís ministry and he never wanted people to focus on him but on Christ.
Phil 1:27 (KJB)
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;
Let your conversation - Conduct oneself as a good citizen
Ye stand fast - Stand firm or persevere
Striving together - Struggle together (stand and contend in unity)
Here Paul is giving an admonition to the Philippians yet it is absolutely applicable to all Christians everywhere. He is encouraging them to conduct themselves properly as good citizens, not only of the physical country where they reside but as good citizens of the Kingdom of God. He wants them to live according to these principles whether he is able to visit them or not. Christians must live the same testimony in private as they do in public. A strong Christian is evidence of a strong Christian life. Sin tends to weaken believers but those who stay out of its way, will grow stronger in the faith. Paul wanted to hear that they were standing firm in the Gospel of Christ and that they were in unity standing for the Gospel. If Christians stand in unity, then there will be strength to withstand attacks. If everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes, then there would be weakness and disunity which could result in an overthrow of any congregation. Many churches have split or dissolved because of disunity. When a church operates in the spirit of oneness and perseverance in the true Gospel, they will exude a strength which will rebuff the advances of false gospels. Paul wanted the Philippian church to be that way, to be in unity of strength in the Gospel of Christ not based upon him or fear of bad reports.
Phil 1:28 (KJB)
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Terrified - Intimidated or frightened
An evident token - Sign, proof, or manifestation
Of perdition - Destruction, ruin, or waste
The result of remaining unified in the Gospel is stated here that when a church stands in unified truth, the adversaries will be unable to intimidate the church. Those who come against the true church are giving evidence that they are lost. There is much rancor toward the church today and their hatred is not necessarily aimed at the church but it is really aimed at the Lord Jesus Christ but since the church is the visible kingdom on earth, they attack it. Their hatred shows their lost condition but on the other hand, when a church is walking in truth, the attacks prove that they are saved and walking in the truth. Satan will not attack a church which is teaching a liberal, watered down, false gospel but will focus attacks on the true gospel. Paul also makes sure they know that God is the one who has authored their salvation and He is the one permitting the persecution to come upon the church. This is done for a refining purpose to show those who really stand versus those who need to be strengthened versus those who are religious yet unsaved. (Mal 3:3 KJV) And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. The sons of Levi are a type of the born again Christian since Christians are called priests (Rev. 1:6) just as the sons of Levi were. Just as God refined the sons of Levi, He refines and purifies His children unto becoming offerings in righteousness, that is, fit for usage in the Kingdom of God by means of being matured in the faith through trials and tribulations.
Phil 1:29 (KJB)
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
He reminds Christians, not only in Philippi, but all over the world and down through the ages that with the belief that they have been given, that is, salvation, will be accompanied by suffering. He wants them to know and understand that true Christianity is not just a happiness trip, although there are times of happiness but he wants them to know that we still live in a hostile world which has a hatred for the Lord Jesus Christ and the true Gospel. Christians will suffer whenever they live the Christian life and there is no place on earth which is not hostile to the true Gospel since sin is universal. (1 Pet 4:1 KJV) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; Just as Christ had suffered, Christians are to expect suffering for the faith, it is not something which may come but will come.
Phil 1:30 (KJB)
Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Conflict - Agony
Paul states that the Philippians were now having the same conflicts which he had suffered and is still suffering. Just because Paul was in prison did not mean the suffering had ceased. Just as he was troubled by the false teachers, the Philippians were probably being accosted by false teachers. The sufferings of Paul may not be the same as those others who were suffering, but method does not matter, since it is all persecution, no matter what form it takes. Paul may have in mind the way he and Silas were first treated when they went to Philippi to preach the Gospel (Acts 16). Some of the Philippian Christians may have been suffering in the same manner by the same people. The world sees Christianity as a threat to their unhindered sinful lifestyles and the threat needs to be eliminated. In countries where it is illegal to put Christians to death, they may be intimidated to the point of total silence in speaking against sin and this is what Paul did not want to happen.