Living for the advance of the Gospel is not just an ideal for Paul, it is a reality. The book of Philippians unpacks this theme with both precision and depth.
In the introduction, Paul addresses the immediate temptation for almost every believer–“Is it even possible to live for the advance of the Gospel?”.
Not only is it possible, but it is actually impossible for a believer to not live for the advance of the Gospel. Paul states it this way:
Philippians 1:5-6 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Paul’s confidence in their continued growth is based on the faithfulness of God. God began a work and He will be faithful to see it to fruition. Therefore, every believer can be confident that when God starts a work, He will complete that work.
Not only does Paul address this issue from a future perspective, but also from the past.
Philippians 1:9-11 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
As believers, Paul points out that they now have Christ’s righteousness placed on their account. Abounding love is the obvious and necessary response.
For believers, living for the advance of the Gospel is not even an option. God is faithful to complete the work in your life. Christ has already placed righteousness on your account. Therefore, it is impossible to not live for the advance of the Gospel.