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. 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.
As christians, the understanding that Jesus died in our place is central to what we believe. We are all unworthy of God but Jesus was the perfect sacrifice so that, although we fail and sin, we can still have a relationship with God. We don’t have to strive for perfection or earn God’s love through our works because we are forgiven.However, in Paul’s letter to the Philippians he tells them to let their manner of life be worthy of the gospel. Is the christian life therefore about trying to live a good life like Jesus, or is it about receiving forgiveness and accepting that we will never be like Jesus?When God is at work in our lives, He is transforming us and continually making us more like Jesus. However, this doesn’t happen automatically, we are involved in the process through our decisions and obedience to Him. When we see Jesus we are changed and we want to be like Him, we don’t want to keep on sinning. Therefore, to live a transformed life, we must keep Jesus at the centre of everything and give up the pursuit of anything else. We have to stop chasing our idea of a joy-filled life and instead let Him be our source of joy.