Philippians 1:27, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel."
I love this verse. I actually preached on this verse last year as part of our Miracle Offering where we received from the church an incredibly generous offering. I believe with all my heart that God is saying something very profound to us RIGHT NOW through this verse, summarized powerfully in that last statement: “striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.”
God is saying to us, “STRIVE for the faith.” If you zoom out of this verse and look at the surrounding verses, what God is actually saying is, “Strive for the Gospel to extend out and get many to believe in Jesus.” Some Christians are very uncomfortable with the word "strive". It brings up images of religious performance to earn righteousness and God's approval. Obviously, that's not what this verse is talking about; instead, it's referring to the spread of the Gospel and the harvest of souls. The reality is: the harvest is hard work. Jesus called for "labourers/workers" (Matthew 9:38) to enter the harvest field. Making disciples is simple, but it requires people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work!
So, we are to STRIVE for the faith; but don’t just strive…strive TOGETHER.
But don’t just strive together…strive together AS ONE. Despite our differences and diversity, God our Father calls us to strive together as one.
I think there’s two extremes that people fall for in church life. The first is some people get cocky and think that they can do this on their own – “Where would this church be without me?” “You just watch, when I leave this church, this church will fall apart.” And on the other end, some people develop a “worm”-mentality and say, “I’m so useless; I’m not needed. "I have nothing significant to offer this church or the Kingdom."
But the Holy Spirit, through the revelation of this verse, directly contradicts and corrects these 2 extremes: "we’re better together as one.”
An unrenewed mind sees differences as a weakness, but a renewed mind sees the differences of people in the body of Christ, in the church-community as a strength. The renewed mind understands that WE – despite our differences and our diversity – ARE BETTER TOGETHER.
No one at MCChurch has to do discipleship on their own. God calls us and has designed for us to do it together as one.