Peace with God
Philippians 4:8-9
How our thinking of excellent and worthy things of God can govern our life towards the peace with Him
Published February 21st, 2019; Updated February 27th, 2019
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Main point summary
Main point summary
The way believer should think and live in order to be in God's peace
Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers,
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
What you have learned
and w received
and heard
and seen x in me—
practice these things,
and y the God of peace will be with you.
Here Paul gives encouraging, exhorting conclusion and reason for believers to live a life of obedience. He describes it in two ways - thinking and acting (practicing) which are the right response to the peace of God. Manner of thinking for true believer In verse 8 we find a list of virtues that addressed to brothers as a way or pattern of thinking. We can see that this list is not exhaustive (it indicates by the word "whatever" - means anything that falls into these characteristics) and represents most significant markers of thought. It is a manner how believer ought to guide his thoughts. The top of this list is "excellence" and "worthy of praise" - they might be considered as a part of the list, but I think here is a slight advancement to the word "whatever" so anything best, valuable, priceless, deep, complete, perfect you can get from God and his word - think, meditate, consider it. 1. True - Psalm 15:2; Eph. 4:25 2. Honorable - Phil. 1:27; Rom. 12:17 3. Just - Tit. 1:8; Tit. 2:12; Mat. 22:21 4. Pure - Ps. 118:1; Mat. 5:8 5. Lovely - Tit. 3:2 6. Commendable - Gal. 1:10; 1 Pet. 2:12 7. Excellence - 1 Pet. 1:3-4 Do you think these could be related as a result to fruits of the Spirit in Gal. 5? If yes, explain how? How can you use these virtues as a sort of a screen for your thoughts, eyes, ears? Do you find it difficult? If yes, explain why and when? What can you do in your daily life in order to develop this type of thinking? As a one of the practical application we can use this list as a questions or markers when we study biblical text. Next time you read your Bible and learn or study a passage ask what is honorable about this text? What kind of truth this text does illustrate? What is lovely about this text? What is commendable, just? Questions like these will engage our mind, heart, feelings to dig deeper for understanding and application. Way of practice your thinking Further Paul writes that this virtues do not stand by themselves but they lead to purposeful action. So in verse 9 he begins with accomplished task of learning how to think and meditate and then continuously moves to practice. After you learn, receive, hear and see how this goodness performed (here Paul is example for Philippines) you do it too. Purpose and result of it I think in some sense go together - pursuing and responding to peace of God, which every believer has in Jesus Christ. Good example - 1 Tim. 4:12; Phil. 3:1; 1 Thes. 1:6 Peace with God - 1 Thes. 5:23; 2 Cor. 13:10 Good example of learning truth, applying it and passing it to others would be priest Ezra. We find his determination and courage in Ezra 7:9-10 where we read that good hand of God was with him because he put his heart, love, strength in learning, doing and teaching the word of God. Why he does it? Inspite of the historical context of temple restoration, this is great illustration how believer can obey the command in Luke 10:27, Deut. 6:4-7 - love God with all your might, heart, soul, mind. Do you have good examples of people of faith in you life? Do they impact on you? Do you consider yourself as an example for other believers and in what way and sense? What do you think of a relation between this text an Heb. 10:23-25? Would you consider this as a practice of this virtues within the church as well as exhorting and encouraging others pursue excellence in good works?
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.