Dr. Brook Stockton

 Philippians 1:27, NKJV: "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"

Philippians 1:27, NIV:  " Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel."

Philippians 1:27, NLT:  "Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven [BEFORE you are citizens of earth], conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News."

 The word “conversation” is a gross mistranslation by the King James translators because the translators did not retain the meaning of the original Greek word citizenship. The word “conversation” is derived from the Greek word politeuomai, (politeu,esqe). The word “politics” and “citizen” or “city” (polis) comes from this term. It refers to the business of the city counsel by the counsel members. It could be translated “politick” your self or “conduct” yourself.

 The words “only” and “becometh” are adverbs modifying the main verb “politicking.” 

 The term “becometh” (avxi,wj) can be translated “worthily.” It refers to the dignity of conduct associated with high status in a society such as one sitting on the city counsel as an official representative. Christians are citizens of the kingdom of God and have the high calling of reflecting the character of its King.

 The term “only” is the first word in the sentence which grammarians call the emphatic position; that is, Paul is emphasizing the solitary duty of politicking only for and on behalf of the gospel of Jesus Christ; that is, he is excluding the possibility of acting for another cause or government. Philippi was proud of being a Roman city. The greatest honor of any citizen was to be a counsel member representing the people in conjunction with Rome. By using the term “only” Paul excludes acting for any other purpose, any other cause, any other civil order. Christians have a duty to the gospel and must conduct their affairs in light of their citizenship in heaven. We can only have one domicile, one permanent legal home. 

 The word politeo is a command; i.e., a present imperative calling for continuous, repetitive action that should be translated “continually conduct yourself as a citizen” or “politicking yourselves” in reference to the gospel. Christians are ordered into the political arena to call men to abandon their allegiance to this world and to surrender to rule and reign of Christ. 

 Consequently, believers should not be surprised if their message is resisted and war erupts when citizens of this world appose the proclamation and application of the gospel in their polis. As Christians represent themselves as citizens of God’s kingdom and call men to repent of their sins and believe the gospel, world views are going to collide. Flashes of canon fire will screech across the dark sky. Crashing thunder will disrupt the peace. The smell of black smoke will permeate the political atmosphere.

 The application of this positive command is profound and touches all that we do. Negative commands are narrow and limited, but positive commands are broad and unlimited. This is a positive command and its applications are politically unlimited. It impacts our purpose and why we are on this earth. It challenges our political associations; our party affiliations; our finances; our loyalties. Our message confronts public debauchery, immorality, public fraud, and immoral agendas. The gospel withstands the legal, political, governmental, economic, and education systems present in society. There can be no such thing as a separation of the secular and sacred. Our gospel must oppose all that is wrong in society; expose all that is twisted and perverted in politics; and impose the truth on all false religious systems at work in our culture. Everything is holy and all that we do must be for the precious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ because He is our King and our domicile is in heaven.


Various commentaries on the above passage state the following:

1.   Bible Exposition Commentary, Warren W. Wiersby, Victory Books, ISBN 0–89693–659–7, 1989.

The old English word conversation,of course, means walk and not talk. “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ” (nasb). The most important weapon against the enemy is not a stirring sermon or a powerful book; it is the consistent life of believers.

The verb Paul uses is related to our word politics. He is saying, “Behave the way citizens are supposed to behave.” My wife and I were visiting in London and one day decided to go to the zoo. We boarded the bus and sat back to enjoy the ride; but it was impossible to enjoy it because of the loud, coarse conversation of the passengers at the front of the bus. Unfortunately, they were Americans; and we could see the Britishers around us raising their eyebrows and shaking their heads, as though to say, “Oh, yes, they’re from America!” We were embarrassed, because we knew that these people did not really represent the best of American citizens.

Paul is suggesting that we Christians are the citizens of heaven, and while we are on earth we ought to behave like heaven’s citizens. He brings this concept up again in Philippians 3:20. It would be a very meaningful expression to the people in Philippi because Philippi was a Roman colony, and its citizens were actually Roman citizens, protected by Roman law. The church of Jesus Christ is a colony of heaven on earth! And we ought to behave like the citizens of heaven.

“Am I conducting myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel?” is a good question for us to ask ourselves regularly. We should “walk... worthy of the calling” that we have in Christ (Eph. 4:1, nasb), which means walking “worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” (Col. 1:10). We do not behave in order to go to heaven, as though we could be saved by our good works; but we behave because our names are already written in heaven, and our citizenship is in heaven.

2.   Fee, G. D. (1999). Vol. 11: Philippians. The IVP New Testament commentary series (77). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

The Appeal (1:27) The NIV’s whatever happens translates the adverb “only,” a word “lifted like a warning finger” (Barth 1962:45) to catch their attention about present realities. Paul expects to be released from his present imprisonment partly for the sake of his Philippian brothers and sisters’ further “progress and joy” regarding “the faith.” But in the meantime, while Paul is still “absent” from them, he wishes to hear the same kind of good report “about your affairs” (NIV about you) that he would hope to find had he been able to come now with Epaphroditus.*
At issue is how the Philippians conduct themselves, meaning live out the gospel in Philippi. Pivotal to the present appeal is that instead of the ordinary Jewish metaphor “to walk [in the ways of the Lord],” Paul uses a political metaphor, which will appear again in 3:20–21. The people of Philippi took due pride in their having been made a Roman colony by Caesar Augustus, which brought the privileges and prestige of Roman citizenship. Paul now urges them to live out their citizenship (conduct yourselves) in a manner—and the sentence begins with these emphatic words—worthy of the gospel of Christ. What is intended by this wordplay is something like “Live in the Roman colony of Philippi as worthy citizens of your heavenly homeland.” That, after all, is precisely the contrast made in 3:17–20, where “our citizenship is in heaven,” in contrast to those whose minds are set on “earthly things.”
The use of this metaphor is a brilliant stroke. Not only does it appeal to their own historic pride as Philippians, but now applied to their present setting, it urges concern both for the mission of the gospel in Philippi and especially for the welfare of the state, meaning in this case that they take seriously their “civic” responsibilities within the believing community. Their being of one mind and heart is at stake; disharmony will lead to their collective ruin.
How are they to bring this off? By standing firm in the one Spirit as they contend side by side as one person for the faith of the gospel. With these words, and in typical fashion, Paul switches metaphors, this time to an athletic contest, probably used metaphorically in turn to suggest a battle. The image is of people engaged in spiritual warfare (imagery that will hardly be lost on those who live in a military colony!), standing their ground firmly by the power of the Holy Spirit, who as the one Spirit is also the source of their unity (cf. 1 Cor 12:13), thus anticipating 2:1. Despite the frequency of its appearance in English translations, this phrase can scarcely mean in one spirit (NIV), as though it meant to have a common mind about something. Such an idiom with the word spirit is unknown in all of Greek literature. Paul himself uses this phrase elsewhere to refer to the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:9, 13; Eph 2:18), precisely in places, as here, where Christian unity is at stake.
They are urged thus to stand firm in/by the one Spirit so as to contend together as one person for the faith of the gospel. Here we are at the heart of things: their need to have harmony within the Christian community as they live out the gospel in Philippi. The gospel is the beginning and end of everything for Paul. Thus for them to live out their (heavenly) citizenship in a manner worthy of the gospel means for them to contend for the faith of the gospel, and to do so in the unity that only the Spirit brings. All the more so now because they are facing some kind of opposition that is resulting in suffering.
1:27 On the phrase ta peri hymōn (“about your affairs,” NIV about you), see the note on 1:12 above.
For a discussion of the phrase “in one Spirit,” see Fee 1995:163–66. Although most English translations and commentators see in one spirit to work as a doublet with as one [person], the only thing that favors such a view is the alleged doublet itself. This phrase (en heni pneumati) elsewhere in Paul’s letters refers to the Holy Spirit. The Greek equivalent for something similar to the French esprit de corps is the one that follows, mia psychē (= “one soul”), which occurs throughout Greek antiquity (in the New Testament in Acts 4:32) and is noted by Aristotle to be a common “proverbial” expression about friendship (Nicomachean Ethics 1163b). See also the notes on 2:2 and 2:20.
The unusual phrase the faith of the gospel probably means “the faith contained in the gospel,” or possibly “the faith, that is, the gospel,” in either case thus picking up the language the faith from verse 25.

3.  Carson, D. A. (1994). New Bible commentary : 21st century edition. Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970. (4th ed.) (Php 1:27). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press.

1:27–30 The call to live a life worthy of the gospel
27 Paul may come back again to Philippi or he may not. What matters, he stresses, is that they live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. In all ages—and not least today—the greatest hindrance to the advance of the gospel has been the inconsistency of Christians. The gospel has its greatest influence when the lives of Christians commend it, and that gives us our special responsibility. The Greek word translated conduct yourselves is the one from which our word ‘politics’ comes and the word often conveys the idea of fulfilling one’s duty as citizen. In Philippi, as we have noted, Roman citizenship was prized, but the Philippian Christians had the responsibility to live individually and corporately as heavenly citizens (cf. 3:20). Paul often speaks of the need to stand firm in the face of opposition and difficulty (cf. 1 Cor. 16:13; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 6:11–14; 1 Thes. 3:8; 2 Thes. 2:15).
cf. compare

4.  Lightfoot, J. B., & Lightfoot, J. B. (1994). Philippians. Rev. ed. of: Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. 1913. The Crossway classic commentaries (120). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

27. Whatever. In the Greek the word here is “only.” “Whatever may happen, whether I visit you again or visit you not”: see Galatians 2:10; 5:13; 6:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, where the same Greek word, “only,” is used.
Conduct yourselves. “Perform your duties as citizens.” The metaphor of the heavenly citizenship occurs again in 3:20 (“our citizenship is in heaven”) and Ephesians 2:19 (“fellow citizens with God’s people”). It was natural that, living in the capital of the Empire, St. Paul should use this illustration. The metaphor, moreover, would speak forcibly to his correspondents, for Philippi was a Roman colony and the apostle had himself obtained satisfaction, while in this place, by declaring himself a Roman citizen (Acts 16:12, 37, 38). Though the word conduct is used very loosely at a later date, at this time it seems always to refer to public duties devolving on a man as a member of a body: so it is in Acts 23:1—“I have fulfilled my duty to God”—where St. Paul had been accused of violating the laws and customs of the people and so subverting the theocratic constitution.
Stand firm. “Hold your ground.” For the metaphor see Ephesians 6:13, “you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
In a later passage the apostle compares the Christian life to the Greek stadium (3:14). Here the metaphor seems to be drawn rather from the competitions of the Roman amphitheater. Like criminals or captives, the believers are condemned to fight for their lives. Against them are arrayed the ranks of worldliness and sin; only unflinching courage and steady combination can win the victory against such odds. Compare “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena” (1 Corinthians 4:9).

5.  The Pulpit Commentary: Philippians. 2004 (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, Ed.) (6). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Ver. 27.—Only let your conversation be. St. Paul exhorts the Philippians to stead-fastness. Only, whatever happens, whether I come or no, πολιτεύεσθε, behave as citizens (comp. ch. 3:20, Ἡμῶν τὸ πολιτεῦμα and Eph. 2:19, Συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων. The verb also occurs in Acts 23:1, “I have lived (πεπολίτευμαι) in all good conscience towards God.” St. Paul was himself a Roman citizen; he was writing from Rome; his presence there was caused by his having exercised the rights of citizenship in appealing to Cęsar. He was writing to a place largely inhabited by Roman citizens (for Philippi was a Roman colony), a place in which he had declared himself to be a Roman (Acts 16:37). The metaphor was natural. Some of you are citizens of Rome, the imperial city; live, all of you, as citizens of the heavenly country, the city of the living God. As it becometh the gospel of Christ; rather, as R.V. margin, behave as citizens worthily of. There is a striking parallel in Polycarp’s letter to these same Philippians (sect. 5), Ἐὰν πολιτευσώμεθα ἀξίως αὐτοῦ, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν αὐτῷ: literally, “If we live as citizens worthily of him, we shall also reign with him.” That whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit. The metaphor is military, and follows naturally from the thought of citizenship. Philippi was a military colony, its chief magistrates were prętors, στρατηγοί (Acts 16:20), literally, “generals” (comp. Eph. 6:13 and Gal. 5:1). Spirit is the highest part of our immaterial nature, which, when enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God, can rise into communion with God, and discern the truths of the world unseen. In one spirit; because the spirits of believers are knit together into one fellowship by the one Holy Spirit of God abiding in them all. This distinction between spirit and soul occurs again in 1 Thess. 5:23. The soul is the lower part of our inner being, the seat of the appetites, passions, affections, connected above with the πνεῦμα, below with the σάρξ. With one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; with one soul (not mind); i.e. with all the desires and emotions concentrated on one object, all acting together in the one great work; comp. Acts 4:32, “Striving together with one another for the faith,” rather than “striving together with the faith.” The personification of faith, though approved by high authority, seems forced and improbable. Faith is here used objectively; the faith of the gospel is the doctrine of the gospel, as Gal. 1:23, “The faith which once he destroyed.”

6.  Hughes, R. B., Laney, J. C., & Hughes, R. B. (2001). Tyndale concise Bible commentary. Rev. ed. of: New Bible companion. 1990.; Includes index. The Tyndale reference library (604). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

The Philippians’ unity of spirit and firm standing in the face of their opponents was a sign of God’s blessing on them and his displeasure of their opponents. Opposition to the gospel would result in ultimate divine judgment, while being persecuted was an indication of being among the redeemed (John 15:18–25). The believers were to resist the idea that questioned God’s care and control. This potential idea and lapse of faith was the major problem Paul sought to avert in his letter.
Philippi was a Roman colony, and the people there were recognized as Roman citizens with the same legal position and privileges as those living in Rome itself. But they also had certain obligations and responsibilities—loyalty to the emperor and obedience to the law. Likewise, believers are citizens of heaven (3:20), and with that citizenship they also have obligations. Paul explained that believers were responsible as citizens of heaven to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel that they represented.

7.  Willmington, H. L. (1997). Willmington's Bible handbook (711). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

1:27–30 Wonderful news! You get to suffer for him! Paul exhorted the Philippians to be steadfast in their faith and bold before their enemies, counting it a privilege to suffer for Christ. Suffering is promised to all true believers (see 2 Tim. 3:12).
8.  Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader (Php 1:27). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Verse twenty-seven
The word “only” connects Paul’s statement that the assurance which he has that he will be given his freedom, comes from the fact that the Philippian saints need his ministry, with his exhortation to them to conduct themselves worthy of the gospel. Since their need of his ministry is the only reason for his wishing to remain on earth, it behooves the Philippian saints to receive that ministry with an open heart, obey his Spirit-given exhortations, and grow in their Christian experience.
The rest of the letter therefore has to do with the spiritual needs of these saints. As we study these exhortations, we discover what things were lacking in their lives and what things needed to be corrected. The basic, all-inclusive exhortation is, “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”
The word “conversation” deserves special attention. Today the word refers to the interchange of connected discourse between two or more persons. At the time the Authorized Version was translated, it meant “manner of life,” “behavior.” While the Greek word from which it is translated means that, yet it means more than that. It is the word politeuo (πολιτευο). From it we get such words as “politic, political.” It referred to the public duties devolving upon a man as a member of a body. Paul uses it in Acts 23:1 where he answers the charge of having violated the laws and customs of the Jewish people and so subverting the theocratic constitution. He says, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” The words “have lived” are the translation of this word. Paul said in effect by the use of this word, “I have fulfilled all the duties devolving upon me as a member of the nation Israel in its relation to God.” Polycarp, writing to the Philippians, and using this same word says, “If we perform our duties under Him as simple citizens, He will promote us to a share in His sovereignty.” The word “conversation” is the translation in the New Testament of another Greek word anastrepho (ἀναστρεφο), in such places as II Corinthians 1:12 and Ephesians 2:3, and means “manner of life, behavior.” This Greek word means literally “to turn hither and thither, to turn one’s self about,” and thus has come to refer to one’s walk, manner of life, or conduct. But Paul uses a specialized word here which is directly connected with the city of Philippi and its citizens. The word anastrepho (ἀναστρεφο) speaks of one’s manner of life considered as such, but the word Paul uses in Philippians speaks of one’s manner of life seen as a duty to a body or group of which one is a member, and to the head of that group to whom he is responsible. It is a more inclusive word.
The use of this word has to do with the fact that the city of Philippi was a Roman colony. Lightfoot says of its use: “Appreciating its strategical importance of which he had had recent experience, Augustus founded at Philippi a Roman military colony with the high-sounding name ‘Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis.’ At the same time he conferred upon it the special privilege of the jus Italicum.’ A colony is described by an ancient writer as a miniature likeness of the Roman people; and this character is fully borne out by the account of Philippi in the apostolic narrative. The political atmosphere of the place is wholly Roman. The chief magistrates, more strictly designated duumvirs, arrogate to themselves the loftier title of praetors. Their servants, like the attendant officers of the highest functionaries in Rome, bear the name of lictors. The pride and privilege of Roman citizenship confront us at every turn. This is the sentiment which stimulates the blind loyalty of the people:1 that is the power which obtains redress for the prisoners and forces an apology from the unwilling magistrates.2 Nor is this feature entirely lost sight of, when we turn from St. Luke’s narrative to St. Paul’s epistle. Addressing a Roman colony from the Roman metropolis, writing as a citizen to citizens, he recurs to the political franchise as an apt symbol of the higher privileges of their heavenly calling, to the political life as a suggestive metaphor for the duties of their Christian profession.” Paul uses the word in its noun form in 3:20 where he says, “For our conversation is in heaven,” or as one could more fully translate, “For the commonwealth of which we are citizens has its fixed location in heaven.”
The use of this specialized word colors the entire epistle, and gives to it a heavenly atmosphere. It teaches us that Christians are citizens of heaven, having a heavenly origin, and a heavenly destiny, with the responsibility of living a heavenly life on this earth in the midst of ungodly people and surroundings, telling sinners of a Saviour in heaven who will save them from their sins if they but trust Him. The ethics in the letter are invested with heavenly standards. The saints are reminded that as a colony of heaven, they are to live heavenly lives on earth, representing their Sovereign by a life which reflects Him. They are taught that obedience to the ethics of the Pauline epistles is not merely obedience to ethics as such, but involves a duty which they are responsible to discharge as citizens of a heavenly kingdom, and as subjects of a heavenly King. The earthly counterpart of this was the institution of emperor worship, in which the subjects of Rome were not only obligated to obey the laws as a political duty, but to obey them as a religious one, since the emperor was worshipped as a god.
Paul says “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” The expression could be variously translated: “Behave as citizens.” “Live as citizens.” “Perform your duties as citizens.” It is in the middle voice, which voice is defined as follows: When a verb is in the middle voice, the subject acts upon itself. For instance, “the man is prodding his own conscience.” Here, the Philippian saints are exhorted to act upon themselves in recognizing their duties with respect to their heavenly citizenship, and holding themselves to them. It is a stronger exhortation than merely that of commanding someone to do something. In the latter kind of exhortation, the person obeys the one who exhorts. But in the form in which Paul gives the exhortation, the person exhorted is to recognize his position as a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, and while obeying the exhortation as a matter of obligation to God, yet at the same time realize his responsibility to obey it because of the privileged position he occupies, and literally exhort or charge himself to do the same. One could translate therefore: “Only see to it that you recognize your responsibility as a citizen and put yourself to the absolute necessity of performing the duties devolving upon you in that position.”
The Greek word translated “becometh” is most interesting. When it is used with the genitive case, it means “having the weight of (weighing as much as) another thing.” It means, “of like value, worth as much.” Other meanings are “befitting, congruous, corresponding.” The saints are to see to it that their manner of life weighs as much as the gospel they profess to believe, or their words will not have weight. That which gives weight to a Christian’s words, is the fact that his manner of life befits, is congruous to, corresponds with the gospel he preaches.
In the Greek word translated “stand fast,” the ideas of firmness or uprightness are prominent. It means “to stand firm and hold one’s ground.” The implication is clear that when one holds one’s ground, he does it in the face of enemy opposition. They are to stand fast in one spirit. The word “spirit” here refers to the unity of spirit in which the members of the church should be fused and blended. The Greek word “spirit” is used at times of the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of anyone. It is so used here. This unity of spirit when present among the members of a local church, is produced by the Holy Spirit.
The word “mind” is the translation of the Greek word “soul.” The soul is that part of man which on the one hand receives impressions from the human spirit, and on the other hand, from the outer world. It is the sphere of the emotions, the reason, and the will. It is that in and by which the exertion here spoken of would take place. “Striving” is the translation of a Greek word used of an athletic contest. We get our words “athlete” and “athletics” from it. A prefixed preposition implying co-operation, makes the total meaning of the word refer to an athletic contest in which a group of athletes co-operates as a team against another team, working in perfect co-ordination against a common opposition. Paul is exhorting the members of the Philippian church to work together in perfect co-ordination just like a team of Greek athletes. This illustration was not lost upon the Greek readers of Paul’s letter. This is the first intimation in the latter that there were some divisions in the church. Paul had somehow gotten out of a possibly reluctant Epaphroditus, that all was not well in the Philippian church. The words, “the faith,” are a technical term referring to Christianity.
Translation: Only (since my only reason for remaining on earth is for your progress in the Christian life), see to it that you recognize your responsibility as citizens (of heaven), and put yourselves to the absolute necessity of performing the duties devolving upon you in that position, doing this in a manner which is befitting to the gospel of Christ, in order that whether having come and having seen you, or whether being absent I am hearing the things concerning you, namely, that you are standing firm in one spirit, holding your ground, with one soul contending (as a team of athletes would) in perfect co-operation with one another for the faith of the gospel.
1 Acts 16:21
2 Acts 16:37-39

9.  Pfeiffer, C. F., & Harrison, E. F. (1962). The Wycliffe Bible commentary : New Testament (Php 1:27). Chicago: Moody Press.

VI. Exhortation to Steadfastness. 1:27-30.
     Lest their boasting lead to carelessness in the conflict against paganism, Paul sounds a note of warning. With unity and steadfastness they were to go on contending for the faith.
     27. They were to live as worthy citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Paul’s use of politeuomai, “to live as a citizen,” “to fulfill corporate duties,” instead of the more usual peripateō, “to walk”, would be noted and appreciated in a Roman colony like Philippi. The word stresses the effect of the Christian community in a pagan society. Whether I come . . . or . . . am absent does not indicate doubt concerning the future but is an attempt to disengage them from undue dependence upon him. The thought of gladiatorial combat runs throughout these verses: They are to take a firm stand (stēkō), join in combat (synathleō) and not be frightened (ptyreomai, v. 28). One spirit designates a unified offensive; one soul (seat of affections) indicates that unity must extend to inward disposition.
     28. The verb, to be terrified, pictures frightened horses about to stampede. The opponents were not the Judaizers but members of a violently hostile element at Philippi. The fearlessness of the Christians was a clear omen to the adversaries that their attempts to thwart the Gospel were futile and only led to their own destruction. It also revealed to them that God was on the other side (reading of your salvation, not to you of salvation). 29. It is given could be more literally translated, It has been graciously conferred (charizomai is the verb form of charis, “grace”). “The privilege of suffering for Christ is the privilege of doing the kind of work for him that is important enough to merit the world’s counterattack” (Simcox, op. cit., p. 61). To suffer for Christ (in the interest of his cause) is a favor granted only to those who believe in him. 30. Connect with verse 28a. The Philippians were involved in the same sort of conflict (agoµn; cf. our word agony) in which Paul had been (Acts 16:19 ff.) and still was engaged.
p. page, pages
cf. confer (compare)
ff. following

10.    The letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (29). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

Philippians 1:27–30
One thing you must see to whatever happens—live a life that is worthy of a citizen of the Kingdom and of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you, or whether I go away and hear how things go with you, the news will be that you are standing fast, united in one spirit, fighting with one soul the battle of the gospel’s faith, and that you are not put into fluttering alarm by any of your adversaries. For your steadfastness is a proof to them that they are doomed to defeat, while you are destined for salvation—and that from God. For to you has been given the privilege of doing something for Christ—the privilege of not only believing in him, but also of suffering for him, for you have the same struggle as that in which you have seen me engaged, and which now you hear that I am undergoing.
One thing is essential—no matter what happens either to them or to Paul the Philippians must live worthily of their faith and profession. Paul chooses his words very carefully. The Authorized Version has it: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” Nowadays this is misleading. To us conversation means talk; but it is derived from the Latin word conversari, which means to conduct oneself. In the seventeenth century a person’s conversation was not only his way of speaking to other people; it was his whole behaviour. The phrase means: “Let your behaviour be worthy of those who are pledged to Christ.”
But on this occasion Paul uses a word which he very seldom uses in order to express his meaning. The word he would normally use for to conduct oneself in the ordinary affairs of life is peripatein, which literally means to walk about; here he uses politeuesthai, which means to be a citizen. Paul was writing from the very centre of the Roman Empire, from Rome itself; it was the fact that he was a Roman citizen that had brought him there. Philippi was a Roman colony; and Roman colonies were little bits of Rome planted throughout the world, where the citizens never forgot that they were Romans, spoke the Latin language, wore the Latin dress, called their magistrates by the Latin names, however far they might be from Rome. So what Paul is saying is, “You and I know full well the privileges and the responsibilities of being a Roman citizen. You know full well how even in Philippi, so many miles from Rome, you must still live and act as a Roman does. Well then, remember that you have an even higher duty than that. Wherever you are you must live as befits a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
What does Paul expect from them? He expects them to stand fast. The world is full of Christians on the retreat, who, when things grow difficult, play down their Christianity. The true Christian stands fast, unashamed in any company. He expects unity; they are to be bound together in one spirit like a band of brothers. Let the world quarrel; Christians must be one. He expects a certain unconquerability. Often evil seems invincible; but the Christian must never abandon hope or give up the struggle. He expects a cool, calm courage. In times of crisis others may be nervous and afraid; the Christian will be still serene, master of himself and of the situation.
If they can be like that, they will set such an example that the pagans will be disgusted with their own way of life, will realize that the Christians have something they do not possess, and will seek for very self-preservation to share it.
Paul does not suggest that this will be easy. When Christianity first came to Philippi, they saw him fight his own battle. They saw him scourged and imprisoned for the faith (Acts 16:19). They know what he is now going through. But let them remember that a general chooses his best soldiers for the hardest tasks, and that it is an honour to suffer for Christ. There is a tale of a veteran French soldier who came in a desperate situation upon a young recruit trembling with fear. “Come, son,” said the veteran, “and you and I will do something fine for France.” So Paul says to the Philippians: “For you and for me the battle is on; let us do something fine for Christ.”