The book of Philippians is the complete opposite of Christian Nationalism – an ideology which drapes the gospel of Christ in the American Flag, and justifies political slander, hate, malice, strife, and all manner of falsehoods in the name of religious values.

In Philippians 1:12 – 13 Paul says, “I would ye understood,  brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds (sufferings) in Christ are manifest in all the palace, in in all other places.”

Matthew Henry says, “Paul’s sufferings made him known at court, where perhaps he would never have otherwise been known; and this might lead some of them to enquire after the gospel for which he suffered, which they might otherwise have never heard of. When his bonds were manifest in the palace, they were manifest in all other places. The sentiments of the court have great influence on the sentiments of all the people.”

By the sufferings Paul endured for Christ, the gospel had infiltrated Caesar’s household. This is evident in Paul valedictorian to the Philippians – All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.  ~ Philippians 4:22

Through Paul the gospel had reached the palace, but not through political means, as this is not God’s design. Rather it had reached the palace by the devoted life of Paul to Christ, which was magnified by the things Paul suffered for Christ. Paul doesn’t credit his preaching, but instead, his sufferings for Christ. Never do we see Paul engaging in political strategies among worldly authorities. Paul reminds the Philippians that Jesus Christ is our Lord (Philippians 2:8-11), and that we are to be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom we are to shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life (Philippians 2:15-16), for our citizenship is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).


The best description I have ever heard of Christian Nationalism is, draping the gospel in an American flag.

A gospel draped in an American Flag is a false gospel, and this is the sin of the evangelical church in the United States at this hour. Nowhere is patriotism for one’s earthly country taught in the New Testament. There is nothing wrong with being patriotic if it’s kept in check under the fruit of the Spirit of self control, but we must understand that as Christians, this world is not our home and our true citizenship is in Heaven.

We are first and foremost ambassadors for Christ, living as in a foreign land. We are the children of Abraham, and like fathers in the faith, we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ~ Hebrews 11:13

As sojourners we are to pass the time of our journey in this world in the fear of the Lord (1 Peter 1:17), and as strangers and pilgrims we are to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). We are to live honestly among the Gentiles (the world) so that they will glorify God in the day of their visitation (1 Peter 2:12). The manner of life we life before the world matters. And becoming a political, Christian Nationalist who demonizes everyone who is of the opposite political party while behaving with attitudes of malice and strife, is not of the Kingdom of God and Christ


According to Paul’s gospel, salvation is the free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Was Paul’s doctrine of faith in Jesus consistent with, or foreign to the gospel preached by Jesus and the original apostles whom Jesus commissioned with the gospel? Did Jesus, and the original apostles preach salvation through faith?

To begin, consider that Jesus emphasized faith before Paul ever did. Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom, telling people to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15). And it was Jesus who commissioned his disciples to go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Jesus declared “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (v.16).

In his gospel, the apostle John highlights the importance of faith in Jesus in relation to salvation. John begins his gospel by declaring that Jesus was the Word of God made flesh, and says the following in his prelude:

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:10-13

Belief in Jesus, the Son of God, is the central message of John’s gospel who wrote the things he did that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. ~ John 20:31

John makes this statement in view of Thomas’s encounter with Jesus after his resurrection. Thomas, who was one of Jesus’s disciples did not believe the reports of Jesus’s resurrection by those who had claimed he was alive.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. ~ John 20:24-25

John tells us that eight days later Jesus appeared to the disciples and Thomas was there with them. When Thomas saw Jesus, Jesus said to him, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing (v. 27). 

Next we are told the following:

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:28-31

As I close this first post on this topic, I want you to notice that John says “by believing you might have life through his name.” Faith in Jesus is not merely a get out out hell free card, or a free pass into Heaven. Instead, it is life from the dead. Genuine faith in Jesus changes us, and that change begins because God’s Spirit fills our hearts through our faith in Jesus.



This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 1:15-17

Evangelicals need to be reminded that Christ came into the world to save sinners. Paul refers to this as “a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation…” 

A faithful saying is a timeless message, and an enduring truth. Worthy of all acceptation means it’s it something we must never forget and always be mindful of.  I think this is why Paul says in the next breath, “of whom I am Chief.” Paul did not view himself as the chief of sinners because of a sense of guilt, but rather from a heart of gratitude.

Paul never wanted to forget that he once was lost and God had mercy. Paul then tells Timothy, that his own salvation was a pattern of God’s great salvation to those whom God would save after him. Paul understood the depth of his sinful past, and even so God was merciful, for Christ had come into the world to save sinners. 

In his letter to Titus, Paul tells Titus to remind the people to be examples of godliness with regards to governing authorities, and to speak evil of no man, and not to be brawlers (abusive, fighting, etc.) but rather be gentle, showing meekness to all men (not only to Christians, but all men) because we too were at one time foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving different lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 

Too many evangelicals are sending the wrong message of us vs. them. We are not an exclusive group whom God favors and while hating sinners. God forbid! Instead, we are people who have been saved by the grace of God and at one time we too were lost and we should never forget it. If we do, we forget our calling and our purpose.

Christ came into the world to save sinners and has called us as co-laborers with him so that through us the savor of the knowledge Christ might be known in every place, so that the world can taste and see that the Lord is gracious.