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The Professor Grant Horner Bible Reading System is a great 500 day Bible reading plan.   The following link presents a description of the plan ( https://sohmer.net/media/professor_grant_horners_bible_reading_system.pdf).  My goal is to briefly share my thoughts on the passage that stands out the most for me each day.  I will try to go back and cover the previous days.

For Day 152, in light of meaningful societal hostility against evangelical Christians, the text that stood out to me was verses 27-28a of Philippians 1:27–30 (ESV) [boldfacing added]:

27 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, 28 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. 29 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, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Looking at verse 27, it only makes sense that a Christ-follower has a strong desire to display a “manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  In other words, like Paul, a Christ-follower should want to maintain their testimony for Christ. 

Still referring to verse 27, evidence of a gospel-worthy life is a Christ-follower along with his or her brothers and sisters in Christ “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”   The phrase “faith of the gospel” should be taken in the sense of “the faith which is appropriate to the gospel,” or “the faith which is based on the gospel.”  See Loh, I.-J., & Nida, E. A. (1995). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. New York: United Bible Societies. 

There is strength in numbers.  As one commentator writes:

The world must see a united front defending and proclaiming the gospel. No longer would divided motives of love and selfishness do. The church must face the world in one spirit. A fearless, unified church will astound the world. They will see the truth of the gospel.

Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 211). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Considering verse 28a, another characteristic of a gospel-worthy life is to be “not frightened in anything by your opponents.”  An inherent condition of the Christian life is adversity so that a Christ-follower should expect opposition.  A Christ-follower must not shy away from or be intimidated by those people or movements who oppose Christianity.

It seems that as time goes on, life in the United States will become more difficult for a Christ-follower who stands for biblical morality with respect to the LGBTQ issues and the abortion issue.  Also, it seems that a Christ-follower will experience additional resistance if he or she holds to the doctrine of solus Christus – “by Christ alone” – that is, Christ is the only Savior. 

21st Century Christians in the USA must face the inevitable fact that, in the absence of divine intervention, life will become much more difficult and dangerous.  Now is the time to take to heart Paul’s words to the Philippian Christians.  Now is the time for each Christ-follower to live a gospel-worthy life which includes focusing on living a life consistent with biblical teaching.

Now is the time for each body of believers to set aside petty differences and disagreements.  Instead, each body of believer must unify around the message of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and stand fearless against a hostile world. 

As I read it, this text applies only to believers.  Thus, if you are not a Christ-follower, it has no application to you.  Yet, that can change.  Today can be the day of your salvation.  Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.

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