Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fee's comments on Philippians 1:29-30

Philippians 1:27-30 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, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that e you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

"One of the reasons most of us in the West do not know more about the content of vv. 29-30 is that we have so poorly heeded the threefold exhortation that precedes: (1) to stand firm in the one Spirit (overall our pneumatology is especially weak); (2) to contend for the faith of the gospel as one person (the "faith of the gospel" has been watered down in so many ways, on all sides [not just by "liberalism", but by the blatant materialism that erodes the evangelical church], that it is sometimes not worth contending for; and our sectarianism has more often resulted in in-house furor than in contending for the gospel in the face of pagan opposition); and (3) to do so by not being intimidated in any way by the opposition (who tend to focus on our many weaknesses, so as to continually deflect our contending for the gospel of our crucified Savior per se)." (Fee, Gordon D. Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1995. 173)

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