Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent…
I. THE GOSPEL in —
1. The dignity which it confers.
(1) What we are by nature — children of wrath, aliens, slaves of sin.
(2) What we are by grace — children of God, citizens of heaven, kings and priests unto God.
2. The knowledge it communicates.
(1) The mystery of godliness — God manifest in the flesh.
(2) The "mystery of the gospel" — the union between Christ and His people.
(3) The mystery connected with the resurrection.
(4) The "mystery of iniquity."
(5) The mystery of providence — "All things work together for good," etc.
(6) The "mysteries of the kingdom."
3. The spirit it enjoins. Peace with God, joy, God's love, the manifestation of the mercy we enjoy, walking in love, blamelessly.
II. THE ATTENDANT ADVANTAGES.
1. Stedfastness. Changing circumstances, heresies, worldliness, try this stability.
(1) Every individual soldier must remember that he belongs to the army.
(2) In order to this unity there must be personal consistency and individual value of the truth. "One mind," viz., that which was in Christ Jesus.
(3) Mutual effort.
3. Zeal for the success of the truth.
(1) Defending its purity.
(2) Extending its blessings.
(W. Cadman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;
WEB: Only let your way of life be worthy of the Good News of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News;