1. 27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you orremain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 
    • When we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel:
      • "The gospel is not a thing of nothing; nor is it intended that it should exert no influence on its friends.” Barnes
      • it will gain a reputation - it will be noted and spoken of - “they noted these men had been with Jesus”
      • it will last - standing firm
      • it will be unified - in one spirit, with one mind
        • "he requires a twofold unity -- of spirit and soul. The first is, that we have like views; the second, that we be united in heart. For when these two terms are connected together, spiritus (spirit) denotes the understanding, while anima (soul) denotes the will. Farther, agreement of views comes first in order; and then from it springs union of inclination.” Calvin
        • thinking alike
        • feeling alike
        • sharing the same value system - CARING about one another
      • striving TOGTHER for the faith of the Gospel
        • we are all working hard (striving)
          • real effort to be given to learning to love God an love people
          • real work and effort expended in loving sacrificially - it is costly and has WORTH
            • caring for the body
            • reaching out to the lost
            • ministering to the hurt and broken
        • we are all working together
          • we do not do this work alone we do it AS A TRIBE
          • Jesus is working with us and through us by His Spirit
        • we are all working toward and out of our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross
          • none of our work is toward being accepted by God but flows naturally and joyfully out of our state of being accepted.
          • None of our work is accomplished by our own strength but flows as we rely on the strength and power God supplies as we cooperate with what He is doing in the earth.
  2. 28in no way alarmed by [your] opponents-- which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that [too], from God.
    • we are not afraid
    • our lack of fear speaks to them of their reason to be afraid
    • our lack of fear speaks to US of our sure confidence in God’s power and provision for us.
  3. 29For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believein Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
    • it has been GRANTED - to show favor - this is the same root as the word for the spiritual gifts
      • suffering is a gift granted by Jesus.
  4. 30experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear [to be] in me.