Live your life! (Phil. 1:27)

“Only,

Live your life

In a manner worthy

Of the gospel

Of Christ!

Thus,

Whether I come

And I see you

Or I am absent,

And I hear about you,

I know

That you are standing firm

In one spirit,

With one mind,

Striving side by side

For the faith of the gospel.”

Μόνον ἀξίως τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ πολιτεύεσθε, ἵνα εἴτε ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ὑμᾶς εἴτε ἀπὼν ἀκούω τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν, ὅτι στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,

Paul said, “Only (Μόνον), live your life (πολιτεύεσθε) in a manner worthy (ἀξίως) of the gospel of Christ (τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ)!  Thus, whether I come (ἵνα εἴτε ἐλθὼν) and I see you (καὶ ἰδὼν ὑμᾶς) or I am absent (εἴτε ἀπὼν), and I hear about you (ἀκούω τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν), I know that you are standing firm (ὅτι στήκετε) in one spirit (ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι), with one mind (μιᾷ ψυχῇ), striving side by side (συναθλοῦντες) for the faith of the gospel (τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀξίως, that means worthily, and the word ἀπὼν, that means to be away or absent.  Only this Philippian letter uniquely used this word συναθλοῦντες, that means to strive with, compete together with others, or cooperate vigorously.  Paul reminded the Christian Philippians that they should live their lives in a way that that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They should be good citizens.  Thus, it would not matter whether Paul came again to see them, or whether he would hear about them in his absence.  What counted was whether they were all working together.  He wanted to make sure that they were all standing together side by side in the unity of one spirit and one mind in defending the faith or belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He wanted a united Christian community church above all else.  Do you live in a united Christian community?