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Walking Worthily of the Gospel of Christ

“Only let your conversation be as becometh the Gospel of Christ. . .striving together for the faith of the Gospel.” Phil. 1:27

Satan is the great false-prophet, the great accuser of the brethren. He directs all his hellish attempts against the truth of the Gospel of Christ. He does not will that Christ shall be preached from the pulpits. He is the arch-foe, disguised as an angel of light; he “uses” the revelation of God, corrupting it to his own Satanic ends. He would bewilder and discomfit the saints, so that they do not hear the glad refrain and key-note of the Gospel: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith, your God”.

Satan hates the Gospel; he fears the Gospel. He hates the pure preaching of the Gospel by which the Holy Spirit works faith in the hearts of all the believers, elected unto everlasting life and unto a walk of true godliness from the heart. He knows that faith clings to the Gospel of the Cross alone. Yes, he knows that such faith conquers the world and all the hosts of hell, Satan included. By such faith the saints resist Satan and he flees from the saints, who boast alone in the Cross. The banners of Jehovah’s victories are for such who trust alone in Christ crucified. Before that Gospel of the Cross, Satan is helpless as a conquered foe, who has been stripped naked and who have been made an open sham at Calvary, where the veil was rent in the temple from top to bottom!

Of this Gospel we must not be ashamed at all!

For this Gospel we must earnestly contend as for the faith once delivered to the saints. What a blessed contention this is; it is a holy warfare, calling for a united front of all the citizens of heaven’s kingdom, living members of the church in the world. That is the very marrow of the Gospel which we must contend for: That it must ever be a contending, a striving unitedly for the Gospel of Christ.

Glorious battle this! It must be fought with open vigor, and we must meet the enemy in the fray with undaunted courage.

Paul is in prison while he writes to the Philippians. He is in prison for the sake of a great cause. He is set there for the apology, for the defense of the Gospel. Two years he is in prison, and all that had befallen him through the long incarceration at Antioch, the ship-wrecked voyage to Rome, and his being held a prisoner awaiting his trial before Nero together with the seemingly long delay, had all worked for the “furtherance of the Gospel”. He is bound but the Gospel, the Word of God is not bound; it has its free and triumphant course! Such a life of Paul can only be understood when we consider that for Paul “to live is Christ, and to die gain’’.

And now Paul passes on the charge to the Philippians: only let your conversation be such as becometh the Gospel! (Phil. 1:27)

This requires that the church conduct herself as spiritual athletes in the arena of God. The church must fight this battle in confession and walk with united front. They must “strive together for the Gospel of Christ”. They must not have word-strife, divisional questions and fleshly debates, but they must be of one mind, of one heart, having one united goal. They must act like athletes on a team in the sports-arena. Each must not do his own little thing. Play according to the rules is the watch-word of the hour. Execute the basics as they were drafted on the drawing board of Christ, to withstand all the wiles of the Devil, and to quench all the fiery darts of the Wicked One. With him and with the hosts of hell we have our battle. And our hope and defense in which we fight and emerge is: contending together for the Gospel, the glad-tidings of the forgiveness of sins in Christ.

Luctor et emergo!

I strive and I emerge victoriously!

For this battle for the Gospel, young people, you must be prepared. Even while you are preparing you are already in the battle, be it not yet in the forefront of it. You have leaders whose word and example you must follow. Do not be wise in your own conceits. Beware of “youthful lusts”, the snap judgments of youth. Do not try to be a leader of the band, while you are still nothing but learning the basic notes and scales in the music. It takes a long time to become an accomplished choir-master! Few excel to such places of influence in the church. Too many generals and there is no army!

So prepare for the battle, young people!

And then be faithful in the study of the Scriptures. Read your Bible diligently. Go to the congregation each Sunday very diligently to learn God’s word of the Gospel and the fulfilment of a Christian walk in thankfulness according to the new man in Christ. Do this unitedly, young people. Learn to be a phalanx strong, striving together for the Gospel of Christ.
Hold that line. Remain in your battle formation. Do not be terrified. Let courage reign within your breast. Have the heart of a soldier of God; do not be a coward who breaks rank. Endure hardship as a soldier of Christ. For the prize of the battle is the pearl of great price for which a man will sell his all. And so strive “together” with united step in this spiritual battle.

Study the Confessions. Know more than just which the Three Forms of Unity are. Know them well! Study them personally, and investigate them thoroughly. Otherwise you will not be taking the place in the forefront of the army when these elders, parents, teachers, preachers have gone to their reward.

For this conduct of battle is “becoming” to you. It must be a citizen’s conduct worthy of those who will inherit the kingdom of God and of Christ. You must be worthy to stand before the Son of Man. Unless we suffer with him we shall not be glorified together with Him. We must be such that one day the glory of Christ shall be seen in us the church. Paul was such an example as a battle-warrior for the Gospel of Christ. Look at him there in prison. He is a prisoner of Jesus Christ. No ordinary “jail-bird” he. He will not love his life unto death. He will die the death of all the prophets!

Yes, we made confession of faith. We did not simply say that we believed that Jesus died for us. Yes, that too, thank God! But we promised and confessed all that is implied in acknowledging the “doctrine contained in the Old and New Testaments and in the Articles of the Christian faith and taught here in this Christian Church to be the true and complete doctrine of salvation”. We also resolved at that time with a holy resolution “by the grace of God to adhere to this doctrine; to reject ail heresies repugnant thereto and to lead a new and godly life.”

Priorities! Ground-rules of the battle. In this unity of the faith we stand together, young people. You desire a life’s companion, do you not? A wife? A husband? A bosom friend? A friend with whom to share your secrets? Be sure that he will stand with you in this united battle against unbelief and Satan’s lie; that He will stand with you striving with you for the Gospel of Christ.

Yes, priority! Rules laid down by the Chief Captain of our Salvation. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Trust and obey. There is no other way! It is the narrow way which leads to life.

Few find this narrow way.

Many go on the road of doctrinal indifference. And doctrinal indifference is fighting Satan’s battle. He does not desire clear-cut preaching along Reformed lines of interpretation. Beware of false prophets.

Zero in, in all your discussions and reading of the Bible, on the Message of the Gospel. Remember that you are reading a “testament” of God’s covenant words to the heirs of the promise.

Claim these gospel promises by a true faith.

And do this unitedly, striving together for the Gospel of Christ, and then the victory is yours!