Stephen E. Fowl

Disciples are called to “live your lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel” [Philippians 1:27]. But this translation doesn’t capture the concreteness of Paul’s admonition.

The Greek word translated as “live your life” is politeuesthe, from polis, and is more accurately translated as “live your lives as citizens,” or better yet, “let your politics be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” The word’s clear meaning has to do with living as a citizen, or managing civic affairs, or conducting one’s self as pledged to some law of life.

Paul makes it very clear that the interests and aims of the church are different from and largely at variance to the interests and aims of the empire.