INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Phil 4:8-9 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
To bring to completion Paul’s instructions to the Philippians, he presents a listing of things that believers should concentrate on…
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
What is the Christian to concentrate on?
Whatsoever things are…
1. true – actual to fact
2. honest – transparent, sincere, honorable
3. just – innocent, aligns with law of God
4. pure – clean, without blemish
5. lovely – acceptable, beautiful in God’s sight
6. good report – reputable, produces good testimony to others
7. virtue – excellence
8. praise – commendable, good to be encouraged
Folks, these are the things that we are all to keep our minds dwelling upon. When we think on these things, it limits the ability of Satan to tempt us and gradually lure us away from the Lord’s desires for our lives.
Rom 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Rom 8:5 – “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:
Paul then encourages the believers at Philippians to follow his ministry that he has presented to them. This includes his teachings, actions and the lifestyle example he has set for them.
Paul had also encouraged them to follow his example in 3:15-21. Keep in mind, Paul was emulating Christ in his life. By encouraging the Philippian believers to follow him, he was encouraging them to follow Christ.
and the God of peace shall be with you.”
When the Philippian believers think on the right things and follow godly examples that have been set before them, it will allow them to enjoy a close communion with the Lord. As they commune with Him and enjoy His presence in their lives they will be peaceful and content. They can know their hearts are right with the Lord and their lives are pleasing to Him.
May we all keep our minds guarded and dwelling on the Godly things we have seen listed by Paul. In doing so, we will keep our thoughts on Christ, His Word, and the encouraging truths that will keep us close to our Lord and in the center of His will for us.
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