By the “conversation” (AV) the apostles means the general frame and deportment of the whole life. It is the life of a child dependant of its Heavenly Father, called by grace, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Remember, the Apostle is writing to the Church, the one body in Christ. They all speak the same language, even the language of Canaan. They all wear the same garments, even Christ’s robe of righteousness. They all eat the same spiritual meat, even the bread of life. And they all drink the same spiritual drink. For Christ is both the bread of life, and the water of life to all.
Hence, a uniformity of conversation, pursuits, and desires, form the distinguishing feature of this royal family, whom Christ hath made Kings and Priests, to God and the Father. Reader is it so in your instance? Do men of the world look at you as men wondered at? Do they think it strange, that you do not run with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you? And are these among the marks by which the world take knowledge of you; that ye have been with Jesus? There is not, perhaps, a more alarming thing to the enemies of Christ; and his people, than when they see the firmness with which the Lord’s tried ones are borne up, under the cruel pressure of their persecution. It is, as the Apostle said to them, an evident token of perdition—a sign of their own destruction. They see, they feel, their nothingness, and forebode their misery, when their threats, and menaces, and punishments which they inflict, are lost upon the objects of their bitterness.
What a beautiful example of this the Holy Ghost has recorded of the three children in the Court of Babylon. We will not, they said serve your gods. The King’s visage changed with rage, but he felt an inward horror at the same time (Daniel 3:17-18).
(Adapted from Robert Hawker)
Reading: “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”—Philippians 1:27-28