07 July 1, 2012 Philippians, Chapter 4, Verse 8

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07 July 1, 2012 Philippians, Chapter 4, Verse 8

  1. 1. Philippians 4:8 July 1, 2012 First Baptist ChurchJackson, Mississippi USA
  2. 2. THINKING ONGODLY VIRTUES
  3. 3. Wiersbes ExpositoryOutlines on the NewTestament. Copyright ©1992 by Chariot VictorPublishing, an imprint ofCook Communication Min.
  4. 4. The MacArthur NewTestament Commentary,Copyright © Moody Pressand John MacArthur,Jr., 1983-2007.
  5. 5. Philippians 4:8“Finally, brethren,whatever is true,whatever is honorable,whatever is right,
  6. 6. whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is of good repute,if there is any excellence andif anything worthy of praise,dwell on these things.”(4:8)
  7. 7. The word “finally” indicatesthat Paul has arrived at theclimax of his teaching onspiritual stability.
  8. 8. The principle of:“dwell on these things”is both the summation of allthe others and the key toimplementing them.
  9. 9. The phrase -“dwell on these things”-introduces an importanttruth:spiritual stability is a resultof how a person thinks.
  10. 10. Romans 12:22“And do not be conformedto this world, but betransformed by therenewing of your mind, sothat you may prove what
  11. 11. the will of God is, that whichis good and acceptable andperfect.” Romans 12:2
  12. 12. The imperative form oflogizomai(log-id-zom-ahee)“dwell on” makes it acommand;proper thinking is notoptional in the Christian life.
  13. 13. Logízomai (the root of theEnglish term “logical") –to take into account;to come to a "bottom-line”;to reason to a logicalconclusion (decision).
  14. 14. “dwell on” means more thanjust entertaining thoughts,it means:"to seriously evaluate”,"to thoroughly calculate” or"to strongly consider”.
  15. 15. We as believers are“to consider” the qualitiesPaul lists in this verse andmeditate on theirimplications.
  16. 16. The verb form of “dwell on”calls for habitual disciplineof the mind to set allthoughts on these spiritualvirtues continually.
  17. 17. The Bible leaves no doubtthat peoples lives are theproduct of their thoughts.*Proverbs 23:7 declares:"For as a man thinks withinhimself, so he is."
  18. 18. The modern counterpart tothat proverb is thecomputer acronym GIGO:Garbage In, Garbage Out
  19. 19. Just as a computers outputis dependent on theinformation that is input, sopeoples actions are theresult of their thinking.
  20. 20. Jesus expressed that truth inMark 7:20-23: "That whichproceeds out of the man,that is what defiles the man.For from within, out of theheart of men, proceed the
  21. 21. (garbage out) evil thoughts,fornications, thefts,murders, adulteries, deedsof coveting and wickedness,as well as deceit, sensuality,envy, slander, pride and
  22. 22. foolishness. All these evilthings proceed from withinand defile the man.” Mark 7:20-23
  23. 23. “What is down in the wellcomes up in the bucket.”
  24. 24. Pauls call for Biblicalthinking is especiallyrelevant in our culture.*The wrong focus today ison emotion andpragmatism, and the
  25. 25. importance ofserious thinking aboutBiblical truth is downplayed.
  26. 26. People no longer ask:"Is it true?" but1"Does it work?" and2"How will it make me feel?"
  27. 27. Those latter two questionsserve as a working definitionof truth in our society thatrejects the concept ofabsolute divine truth (theBible).
  28. 28. John 6:6363 “It is the Spirit Who giveslife; the flesh profitsnothing; the words that Ihave spoken to you arespirit and are life.”
  29. 29. Truth is wrongly thought ofas whatever works andproduces positive emotions.*Sadly, such pragmatismand emotionalism has crepteven into the Church.
  30. 30. Some churches are oftenmore concerned aboutwhether something will bepolitically correct thanwhether it is Biblically true.
  31. 31. Such a perspective is fardifferent from the nobleBereans, who searched theScriptures daily to see ifwhat Paul said was true, notwhether it fit in.
  32. 32. Acts 17:11“the Bereans received theWord with great eagerness,examining the Scripturesdaily to see whether thesethings were so.”
  33. 33. Too many people go tochurch not to think orreason about the truths ofScripture, but to get theirweekly spiritual high; to feelgood about themselves.
  34. 34. Such people are spirituallyunstable because they basetheir lives on feeling ratherthan on thinking.
  35. 35. Bill Hull writes,“What scares me is the anti-intellectual, anti-critical-thinking philosophy that hasspilled over into the Church.
  36. 36. This philosophy tends toromanticize the faith,making the local church intoan experience center. . . .Their concept of "church" isthat they are spiritual
  37. 37. consumers and that thechurchs job is to meet theirfelt needs.”(Right Thinking [ColoradoSprings, Colo:NavPress,1985], 66).
  38. 38. Philippians 4:1919“And my God willsupply all your needsaccording to His riches inglory in Christ Jesus.”
  39. 39. John Stott also warned ofthe danger of Christiansliving by their feelings:"Indeed, sin has moredangerous effects on ourfeeling than on our thinking,
  40. 40. because our opinions aremore easily checked andregulated by revealed truththan our experiences" (YourMind Matters[DownersGrove, Ill: InterVarsity,1972].
  41. 41. God commands people tothink.*He said to rebellious Israel,"Come now, and let usreason together" (Isa 1:18).
  42. 42. Jesus chided the unbelievingPharisees and Sadduceesfor demanding a miraculoussign from Him.*Instead, He challengedthem to think and draw
  43. 43. inferences from theevidence they had, just asthey did to predict theweather (Matt 16:1-3):“Red sky at morning”…Discern the signs of the time
  44. 44. Hebrews 11:1 KJV1 “Now faith is thesubstance of things hopedfor, the evidence of thingsnot seen.”
  45. 45. God gave us His revelationin the Bible and expects usto use our minds tounderstand His truths.*Careful thinking is themark of the Christian faith.
  46. 46. Paul called for believers to"set their minds on thethings above, not on thethings that are on earth"(Col 3:2).
  47. 47. More than a dozen times inhis epistles Paul asked hisreaders,"Do you not know?"*The apostle expectedbelievers to think and
  48. 48. evaluate.*Believers must disciplinetheir spiritually sensitiveminds to think about rightspiritual realities.
  49. 49. In this brief list, Paulcatalogues eight godlyvirtues to concentrate on:truth, honor, righteousness,purity, lovely things, thingsof good repute, excellence,
  50. 50. and things worthy of praise.
  51. 51. The Word of God is therepository of what is true.*In His High Priestly PrayerJesus said to the Father,"Your word is truth" Jn 17:17.
  52. 52. In Psalm 19:9 David wrote,"The judgments of the Lordare true,"*while Psalm 119:151 adds,"All Your commandmentsare truth."
  53. 53. The Bible is true becausethe "God of truth" (Ps 31:5;Isa 65:16; Eph 4:21) inspiredit.*Thinking on whatever istrue means reading,
  54. 54. analyzing, and meditatingon the Word of God.*The remaining sevenvirtuous categories ofthought are all based on thetruth of Gods Word.
  55. 55. All seven of them are waysto view the truths ofScripture.*When a dentist takes out atooth, he wants to get it allout but leave the bone alone.
  56. 56. So at the dental school wetell the students during anextraction:“What we want is the tooth,the whole tooth, andnothing but the tooth.”
  57. 57. Second, believers are tothink on whatever ishonorable, whatever isnoble, dignified, and worthyof respect.
  58. 58. Semnos (honorable) comesfrom a word meaning"to revere," or "to worship."*In its other New Testamentuses, it describes thedignified lifestyle required
  59. 59. of deacons (1 Tim 3:8),deaconesses (1 Tim 3:11),and older men (Titus 2:2).*Believers must not thinkon what is trivial, temporal,mundane, common, and
  60. 60. earthly, but rather on whatis heavenly, and so worthyof awe, adoration, andpraise.All that is true in Gods Wordis honorable.
  61. 61. Third, believers are to thinkon whatever is right.*Dikaios (right) is anadjective, and should betranslated "righteous."
  62. 62. It describes whatever is inperfect harmony with Godseternal, unchangingstandards, again as revealedin Scripture.
  63. 63. Believers are to think onmatters that are consistentwith the law of God.just – right towards others.
  64. 64. Psalm 19:8a8 “The precepts of theLORD are right, rejoicingthe heart;”
  65. 65. 9 “The fear of the LORD isclean, enduring forever;The judgments of the LORDare true;They are righteousaltogether.” Psalm 19:9
  66. 66. Dwell on things that are:1 true2 honorable3 righteousness4 pure
  67. 67. Fourth, believers are tothink on whatever is pure.*Hagnos (pure) describeswhat God in Scripturedefines as holy, morallyclean, and undefiled.
  68. 68. In 1 Tim 5:22 it says:”Keep yourself free from sin(pure).”*Believers are to purifythemselves because JesusChrist is pure (1 John 3:3).
  69. 69. pure -- "chaste," in relationto ourselves.
  70. 70. Psalm 19:8b“The commandment of theLORD is pure, enlighteningthe eyes.”
  71. 71. Fifth, believers are to thinkon whatever is lovely.*Prosphiles (lovely) appearsonly here in the NewTestament.
  72. 72. It could be translated"sweet," "gracious,""generous," or "patient."*Believers must focus theirthoughts on what the Biblesays is pleasing, attractive,
  73. 73. and amiable before God.lovely -- lovable
  74. 74. Sixth, believers are to thinkon whatever is of goodreport.*Euphemos appears onlyhere in the New Testament.
  75. 75. It describes what is highlyregarded or well thought of.*Believers thoughts areelevated by Scripture to fixon the loftiest themes.
  76. 76. As "lovely" refers to what islovable face to face,of good report is referringto the absent (Php 1:27).
  77. 77. Philippians 1:2727 “Only conduct yourselvesin a manner worthy ofthe Gospel of Christ, so thatwhether I come and see youor remain absent, I will hear
  78. 78. of you that you are standingfirm in one spirit, withone mind striving togetherfor the faith of the Gospel;” Philippians 1:27
  79. 79. The seventh virtue: praise --whatever is praiseworthy;not that Christians shouldmake mans praise their aimbut they should live so as todeserve mens praise.
  80. 80. The eighth virtue is todwell on -- have a continualregard to, so as to "do"these things(Philippians 4:9)whenever the occasionarises.
  81. 81. In summary, Paul exhorts, ifthere is any excellence and ifanything worthy of praise,dwell on these things.*The key to godly living isgodly thinking.

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