January 16, 2020
Today’s Nugget continues the theme of Biblical foundations for the church to build upon in the new Year 2020.
Philippians 1: 27-28, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 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.”
As we consider 2020, God tells us to stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. This is a description of what the church should be today. If we walked daily in this manner, it would have a tremendous impact on our nation and our world. The Holy Spirit dwelling in us makes this possible. Believers are to have integrity, to live consistent with what they believe, teach, and preach. Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:11, 12; 4:1; Titus 2:10; 2 Pet. 3:11, 14. Paul’s theme of unity is a call for genuine unity of heart and mind based on 1) the necessity of oneness to win the spiritual battle for the faith (vv. 28–30); 2) the love of others in the fellowship (2:1, 2); 3) genuine humility and self-sacrifice (2:3, 4); and 4) the example of Jesus Christ (2:5–11).
In 2020 the Church must stand fast together or we will fall. “striving together.” Literally “to struggle along with someone.” Paul changed the metaphor from that of a soldier standing at his post (“stand fast”) to one of a team struggling for victory against a common foe (Satan and his desire to destroy the children of God). How do we stand? We stand in “the faith of the gospel.” This is the Christian faith as revealed by God and recorded in the Scripture (Jude 3; Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:7).
I believe that 2020 just might bring the church to the understanding of what the “proof of perdition” truly is. When believers willingly suffer without being “terrified,” it is a sign that God’s enemies will be destroyed and eternally lost (2 Thess. 1:4–8).
Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” In 2020 the church must stand fast as a soldier on his guard post or following the commands of his general.
Notice that the foundation upon which we are to stand is the LORD himself. There is no other ground upon which individual Believers are to or even can stand. If we, as individual children of God, will not stand on Christ alone, how then will the Church, the Bride of Christ, stand? 2020 just may be a pivotal year for the Church in America.
2 Thess. 2:15-16, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” In the new year 2020, the foundation of our belief system will matter perhaps more than in the last decade. “Stand fast … hold” is a direct exhortation and called for an appropriate response to the great truths Paul had just written. In place of agitation should come strength and a firm stand. In place of false teaching should come faithful adherence to the truth. Peter and Paul had to contend with those who chose to teach a perverted Gospel. It is of interest that the burden of deciding what is truth rests with the Believer and His relationship with the Word and the Holy Spirit.
Look up in 2020! This could usher in the beginning of our Lord’s soon return. Halleluiah and Amen! Again I say Amen.