Treasures From the Original

Do Not Be Stampeded By The World

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Are you and your church standing firm in the face of spiritual opposition, or are you being stampeded by the world?

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase


Are you and your church standing firm in the face of spiritual opposition, or are you being stampeded by the world?

Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. (Philippians 1:27-28)

In this passage the Apostle Paul encourages the Philippian believers to remain steadfast in the face of opposition. That opposition ranged from what we might in today's parlance call "peer pressure" all the way to outright verbal and physical persecution.

Most translations, including the King James and New King James, do not fully communicate the weight of Paul's exhortation. The words translated "not in an way terrified" in verse 28 are from a Greek word, pturo, which was used in other Greek writings to describe the stampeding of men and horses when they were frightened by the enemy in battle. The Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily, describing the battle of Issus in 333 B.C., spoke of the chariot horses of Darius the Third of Persia becoming so frightened by the opposing forces of Alexander the Great that they shook off their reins and ran in confusion from the battlefield, taking chariots and drivers with them.

An expanded translation of these verses would read:

Only see to it that you conduct yourselves in a manner befitting the Gospel of Christ, in order that whether I come and see you, or being absent I hear what is happening with you, I may know that you are standing firm in one spirit, holding your ground, contending in unity and cooperation with one another for the faith of the Gospel, and not being stampeded from the field of battle by those who oppose you - your not being stampeded presenting clear evidence to your enemies of utter destruction, and also clear evidence of your salvation, and this evidence coming from God.

Today many Christians and churches are being stampeded from the field of spiritual battle by adversaries. They are afraid of what the unbelieving world will think. They fear unbelief's attacks. When those criticisms and attacks come, they flee the spiritual battlefield. They give in to the opposition's pressure to conform to the world. If we do not stand firm on the Word of God and refuse to give the ground that is ours in Christ, before a watching world we give apparent vindication to the enemies of the Gospel.

But if we stand firm, in the plan and purposes of God this serves as evidence of the utter destruction that is coming upon those who refuse to bow the knee to Christ. Furthermore, it gives evidence that those who stand firm are truly in Christ. And, Paul adds, this evidence comes from God Himself.

Are you and your church standing firm - or are you part of the stampede? Stand firm, dear Christian, on the Word of God "forever settled in Heaven" (Psalm 119:89) in the face of all opposition.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)


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