5th April 2013

How To Pattern Our Lives

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 2:5 (NIV UK)

How should a believer pattern his or her life?

Paul’s desire was that the Philippians understood clearly how to shape their spirituality. For the Jewish converts among them their behaviour had been based previously on the dictates and temple worship of the Mosaic Law. For the Gentile converts what they did each day had been governed by a pagan worldview and its practices. Now, Paul told them, things were different. “Whatever happens”, he explained in Philippians 1:27, “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”.

There was a clear contrast between how things used to be and how they now are. Paul likened the believer’s past to living as “enemies of the cross of Christ”, when his or her mind was “on earthly things” (3:18, 19). Now, however, that “our citizenship is in heaven”, we should “live according to the pattern” that Paul and Timothy had outlined to them (3:20, 17)

“Only let us live up to what we have already attained”, he told them (3:16). What did he mean? We had already attained participation in Christ. We, who follow Jesus, should not base our conduct on old patterns, but rather aspire to lead a new life shaped by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Just as Jesus did, we too should make ourselves “nothing, taking the very nature of a servant”, and humble ourselves, becoming obedient to the point of sacrificing ourselves for the cross (2:7-8). Paul testified about what motivated him each day so that the Philippians could take note. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead” (3:10-11).

“If” we have “any fellowship with the Spirit”, Paul stressed, then our “attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ” (2:1,5).

Great loving Father, help me, through fellowship with the Spirit, to pattern my life on the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name.

About the Author:

ancientbibleJames Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is speaking in our Southampton congregation.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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