Midday Bible Study: Gospel 54

Take your lunch break with us today and contemplate the meaning of the word gospel. If Ephesians emphasized the word “peace,” Philippians emphasizes “Christ.” These are not alternatives but different ways of saying the same thing: the “peace” of Ephesians is the union of Jews and Gentiles in Christ and the “Christ” of Philippians is the one who brings both Gentiles and Jews into fellowship.

Another text in Philippians is found at 1:27:

27 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 28 without
being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to
them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved-and that
by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.


In some ways, Paul explained what a life worthy of the gospel is in verse 21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” A life worthy of the gospel is a life lived for Christ.

And Paul doesn’t know if his imprisonment will lead to death or to release; he may die, which for him is a delightful hope of being in the presence of Christ. But whether that happens or if he is released, he wants the followers of Jesus at Philippi to live a life worthy of the gospel/of Christ.

What does that look like? He says it in v. 27: it means striving together, in fellowship, in extending the gospel and preaching the gospel to others. A life worthy of the gospel is a life dedicated to that gospel — to living it and preaching it.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • RJS

    Lunch was two hours ago I’m afraid…
    Gospel requires commitment
    Gospel changes conduct
    Gospel should be spread
    But I am not finding this walk through the letters of Paul helpful in determining what Paul means by gospel, except possibly Romans. Paul seems to assume that the meaning of the term is well known to his readers.


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