27 “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 and in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and this too, from God.29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”
Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy: At first glance it may seem that Paul is telling Christians to make themselves worthy of the Gospel. But this is not the case. Paul is not trying to make people feel guilty or pressure people into performing religious tasks in order to somehow make themselves worthy of Christ. Rather, he is speaking of unity. Paul is calling for Christians to be united in love towards one another as they advance the Gospel in one spirit with one mind. So, Paul is calling for believers to be singularly focused on living from Christ towards one another and the world.
Alarmed by your opponents: Paul assumes that the Gospel will encourage opposition in the world. His imprisonment was living proof of this. Believers, therefore, should not be surprised when they come in conflict with the world. Unbelievers will be opposed to the Gospel and are therefore heading towards divine judgment.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake: Paul is talking about the conflict of the saint coming into conflict with the world. Regardless of its flavor, the Christians will experience friction with the world because they are no longer compatible with sin.
Experiencing the same conflict: Paul is speaking about persecution from the world. Because we are children of God, we suffer on behalf of Christ: The same world that hated Jesus, hates Christians. The Gospel will cause suffering in some manner for Christians. So, Paul is not speaking about suffering as a result of sin or divine judgment. Christians are not judged. He is speaking of sufferings that specifically target Christians in the form of persecution.