“And not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.” – Philippians 1:28
As we saw yesterday, standing fast for the gospel as Christians, calls for like-mindedness, mutual dependence and active reliance upon God. For, as we know, contending for the gospel can be a fearful thing, especially, in a hostile world. Accordingly, Paul encourages his friends to not be “terrified” by their adversaries. This would be necessary, for not only would there be false teaching to be wary of (as noted in chapter 3), but there would be hostility from the Jews about the teaching that Jesus is the Messiah, and as well from the Roman state which claimed that Caesar alone was “Lord”, the very title used for our “Lord”, Jesus Christ!
Yet, fear was not to characterize God’s people. Rather, increased persecution and opposition to the Truth was an affirmation of their standing with God and that their “salvation” was “from God”! For whether they lived or died, they belonged to Him! (v.21). And furthermore this persecution was a reminder that all those who oppose Jesus Christ and His gospel will suffer His wrath on the Day of Judgement! As Paul says, this is a “proof of perdition” to our adversaries, a sure sign of their coming destruction. As this was a comforting truth for the Church of Paul’s day, so it is for us! For though we suffer as Christians, we know that we belong to our Lord and that nothing can separate us from Him!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that the Lord would give you strength to bear up under today’s increased persecution. Continue to trust in the Lord knowing that our vindication is sure and God’s coming judgment on the wicked will be complete!
Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day