Studies in theWord
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The God of Peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. New International Version 2011 (NIV2) – See Resources Column
Philippians 4:8-9 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. Amplified Bible (AMP) – See Resources Column
Context: Brothers and sisters/brethren – Paul is writing to believers.
Whatever is true:
Here is a quote from: Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible – See Resources Column
“. . . truth (Gk. alḗtheia) . . . Early Christian use of alḗtheia reflects the diversity of meanings which ˒ĕmeṯ has in the OT and rabbinic sources as well as Greek and Hellenistic usage. The author of Ephesians uses alḗtheia in the sense of that which “has certainty and force” in contrast to pagan ways and of the “truth” that was in Jesus (Eph. 4:21). Likewise, for Paul “truth” means a legitimate standard, that which is “genuine” or “proper,” which could be used to measure the claims of his opponents against him (Gal. 2:5). It is also used in the sense of “uprightness” (e.g., “do the right thing”; John 3:21; 1 John 1:6). “Truth” is the opposite of wrongdoing (1 Cor. 13:6). It can also designate that which is reliable or trustworthy, as opposed to human falsehood; likewise, it can refer to God’s justice in contrast to mankind’s injustice (Rom. 3:3–7). “Truth” can also simply mean “sincerity or honesty” (2 Cor. 7:14).”
Brothers and sisters are we thinking on what is true as we read the news, social media and more?
Whatever is just:
Here is a quote from: Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible – See Resources Column
“Justice is rooted in God’s character (Isa. 5:16; Deut. 32:4), and justice is what God demands of followers (16:20). A central concept is that the justice of a community is measured by their treatment of the poor and oppressed (Isa. 1:16–17; 3:15). Although the message of justice is woven throughout the Bible, the prophets especially issued a strong call for the covenant community to recognize God as the God of justice and to repent of their injustice. Their primary message can be summarized in the words of Mic. 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?””
Brothers and sisters are we being just in our actions as we face difficult times?
Philippians 4:8b – If there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (AMP)
Here is a quote from: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) – See Resources Column
“épainos/έπαινος [praise, approval]
Praise and approval were much sought after in antiquity, though the Stoic tried to achieve freedom from human judgment. In the OT, épainos is the recognition that the community gives the righteous, but especially God’s approval. In Philo it is the approval of Moses or God, but sometimes public applause in the Greek sense. épainos may also be used in the LXX for the community’s attitude of praise and worship toward God. God’s throne is surrounded by dóxa and épainos (1 Chr. 16:27).
- The NT use resembles that of the LXX. Only God’s approval counts, not public acclaim (Rom. 2:29; 1 Cor. 4:5). The idea is that of vindication rather than reward. épainos is God’s saving sentence at the manifestation of Christ (1 Pet. 1:7).
- Christians should not be concerned, then, about human recognition. Apart from God’s recognition, they are to seek recognition only from those whom God has commissioned, i.e., a. the community (2 Cor. 8:18), and b. the government (Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:14). The only instance of classical usage is in Phil. 4:8. [. . .]
[H. Preisker, II, 586-88]”
Brothers and sisters are we thinking on what is worthy of praise?
Philippians 4:9a – Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. (NIV2)
Here is a quote from: New International Commentary: Paul’s Letter to the Philippians – See Resources Column
“9 With this sentence Paul brings the exhortations to conclusion. 31 It is not surprising that they end on the note of “imitation.” Not only is such imitation urged on them explicitly in 3:17, but this motif belongs to “friendship” and is probably in view from the beginning of the letter (1:12). 32 In effect this sentence summarizes, as well as concludes, the letter. Paul’s concern throughout has been the gospel, not its content (“doctrinal error” is not at issue), but its lived out expression in the world. To get there he has informed them of his response to his own present suffering (1:12–26), reminded them of the “way of Christ” (2:6–11), and told his own story (3:4–14), all of which were intended to appeal, warn, and encourage them to steadfastness and unity in the face of opposition. Now he puts it to them plainly, as the final proviso to the preceding list of “virtues” that they should take into account. Read that list, he now tells them, 33 in light of what “you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,” and above all else “put these things (you have learned, etc.) into practice.” 34
What he calls them to “practice” is “what things” 35 they have “learned” and “received” from him by way of instruction and what they have heard about him (from this letter? Epaphroditus? Timothy?) and seen in him by way of example. The first two verbs reflect his Jewish tradition, where what is “learned” is thus “received” by students. 36 For the combination “heard and seen in me” see on 1:30. In that context in particular it had to do with their common struggle of suffering for Christ’s sake. Given the overall context of this letter, one may rightly assume that, whatever the specifics, Paul is once again calling them to the kind of cruciform existence he has been commending and urging on them throughout. Only as they are “conformed to Christ’s death,” as Paul himself seeks continually to be, even as they eagerly await the final consummation at his coming, will they truly live what is “virtuous” and “praiseworthy” from Paul’s distinctively “in Christ” perspective.”
Philippians 4:9b – And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV2)
Philippians 4:7 uses the same word for peace as in verse 9.
Here is a quote from: IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament – See Resources Column
“4:6–7. “Peace” (v. 7) could indicate tranquillity, although in the context of unity it may have its usual meaning of peace with one another (as in Greco-Roman homonoia speeches). If any connotations of the latter use are present, the image of such peace “standing guard” (if pressed in a military sense) over hearts and minds is striking. Jewish prayers (some based on Num 6:24) often asked God to keep his people from harm.”
Remember the context that Paul is writing to believers. This is not talking about God leaving the believer it is talking about the God of peace being with the believer. But there is a key for the believer to see this in action in their life think on the truth, think on the just, think on the praise worthy. Do not focus on the lies, do not focus on the unjust, do not focus on the un-praise worthy. And practice the things as a believer that you’ve learned from Paul. See the context of Philippians 3:8-17.
What are you thinking on? What am I thinking on?
Philippians 4:8-9 Bible Study by Jonathan Koehn