Philippians 1:27 (ESV) … “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…”
In this very significant section of the letter, Paul urged the church members to dismiss their pride and to live and serve together in unity. Anything less falls short of the gospel’s standards. True unity will be realized by authentic meekness and selflessness, ultimately exemplified in the earthly life of Jesus. The attitude the church should exhibit was the one Jesus maintained.
Jesus’ self-emptying served as the basis for the apostle’s exhortation. Philippians 2:5–11, possibly a quotation from an early hymn in praise of Christ, taught that Jesus’ self-emptying led to His exaltation by the Father. Jesus existed in the very nature of God and made Himself nothing, not giving up His deity but His heavenly glory and privileges. He lived a life of humble obedience and humbled Himself even to the point of dying for sinners on the cross. He was then gloriously exalted in His resurrection and ascension.
Paul’s exhortation to unity involved Christians’ working out their salvation with fear and trembling. This action brings about a spiritual community void of complaining and friction. They are encouraged to live as lights in the world, thus holding out the word of life to others and providing joy for the apostle on the day of Christ.