May 20, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
For today, our specific focus on our journey of pulling out brief insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians is on 4:8-9. Please take a quick moment to read these verses afresh.
As we look at the below insights today, especially keep in mind that the overall theme of this letter is the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed in a corporate setting. That is, the truths we see in this brief letter by Paul should impact us first as we live them out among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, namely, the members of the biblical local-global church to which we belong.
From our passage today come the following insights:
- We know that the word “Finally” is used by Paul to indicate he’s about to say something important. Thus, the apostle is connecting his previous comments to what he’s saying now. In a nutshell, Paul is saying our thought life precedes the practice of our life, and contextually, our thoughts should be influenced by Jesus and the gospel. For what else is perfectly “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise?” Moreover, isn’t Jesus and the gospel the “things” the Philippians have “learned, received, heard, and seen” in Paul? Therefore, it makes perfect sense for Paul to command the Philippians and Christians everywhere at all times in all places to continuously think about such things.
- With this being clear, it is no wonder that Paul commands Christians to “practice these things.” We are commanded to continuously “do” Jesus and the gospel. Granted, that sounds weird. But it is what we mean when we say we are to continuously without interruption live a Christ-centered, gospel-driven lifestyle. And note the familiar promise of “the God of peace will be with you.” This is the same promise Jesus made when commissioning the church through the apostles to make disciples for Him (cf. Mt 28:18-20). For when Christians are continuously living under the influence of Jesus and the gospel, we will both be disciples and be making disciples for Jesus. We will be “practicing these things,” and “the God of peace will be with” us.
As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—Philippians 4:10-14. Beloved, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!