Philippians 4:8 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.
9 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.
Life is really not very complicated at all. If a person is willing to humble himself and be saved, he or she has gained such a precious gift. The lost will never understand how precious the gift of eternal life is. God lifts such a huge burden off the heart and soul of the saved person. That lifting also changes the mind of the saved person.
We mentioned yesterday that so many people are suffering through man-made problems that seem like insurmountable problems to them. They run to the ungodly to try to find a solution, rather than running to God. The ungodly have made quite a business out of messing’s people lives. The world has no solutions to the devil’s tactics. God is the answer.
In our text, Paul was directed to begin verse 8 with the word “finally”. Everything that he was directed to write in the book of Philippians, led to these closing words. If a person is saved, they have been given a new heart. As a saved person they must learn to have the mind of Christ.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
You will notice in verse 20 of the above passage, that after a person is saved they need to be taught to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. This is not optional. God’s Word is not a book of suggestions. It is not like the doctor’s books where they might research something and then suggest this drug or a different drug.
Years ago my wife was suffering with a severe case of eczema. She struggled with this for many years. We prayed for relief and healing from this, but we did not receive that for many years. The doctors prescribed certain ointments and they helped but over time they also did damage to her skin. My wife was to the place at one point where she wanted her hands cut off because the discomfort was so great. Of course we did not do that. We did much research to find out how to help with this problem. At one point I went into a health food store and asked the clerk if they had any helps for eczema. That clerk was very helpful. He opened a big book and he looked at what they had written on that subject. He recommended several different oils to mix together to make a lotion for my wife to use. We purchased the oils and we mixed them carefully according to the instructions, and she used that and still has it to this day. Eventually, her eczema went into remission, I guess you would say. We thank the Lord for leading us to this store where they prescribed some natural remedies that could help without doing further harm to her body.
The point is that this was a long process to get to where my wife does not have much trouble with eczema now. She needs to be careful with certain things like dust. It affects her more than it does me. We know that God is the great physician Who could have removed that eczema in an instant. He chose not to do that. He knew we had some lessons to learn through this entire adventure and by God’s grace we have learned at least some of them. For me, one of the things it did was to to give me a greater compassion for my wife. That was a needed thing in my life.
When it comes to God’s Word, He does not make suggestions of “try this or try that.” He has the answer to life’s problems. He knows how we can enjoy the peace of God that we looked at yesterday. We do not need to struggle for years to try to find that peace, if we are saved. It is one of the many blessings of salvation.
Notice His way of blessing His children in verse 8. He is speaking to saints here. He calls them “brethren.” The next word is “whatsoever”. That is an all-encompassing word. It leaves no loopholes. God directed Paul to mention those things that will give peace. You notice in verse 9 that these things are not listed as suggestions. They will give you God’s peace.
The first thing is truth. God’s Word is truth. God’s salvation is true. God’s salvation is a must. There are too many “saved” people who live just like the world. They claim to know the Lord, but their lives are a mess. They refuse to listen to anyone who challenges them on their belief. They stubbornly insist on continuing down their wicked path. They gather “vain” men around them who will agree with their way of thinking and thus they persist in their troubles.
Jesus Christ never spent any time on imaginations. He IS Truth. Everything He did and said IS Truth. True saints are commanded to think on whatsoever things are true.
II Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Christians need to cast down imaginations. We do not need a psychiatrist or some other ungodly counsellor. Christians need to be in a true local church where a godly pastor cares about their soul. They need to be under the careful and faithful teaching of God’s Word. They need to be built up in the faith with the truth, not with flattery. Jesus declared:
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If you are struggling with life, the answer is not hard to find. You do not need to travel the world over to find possibilities. You need to humble yourself and know the true God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are saved and struggling with things, humble yourself and listen to what God’s Word says. Keep in mind that Paul was directed to write about two people in verse 2 of Philippians 4, who were not getting along. The solution for them was to have the “same mind in the Lord.”. It was not just to have the same mind. It was to have the same mind in the Lord.
If you are saved, you must submit to the authority of God’s Word. You must reject the many “snake oil” salesmen who parade themselves as “Bible teachers”. God is good. He will direct you to a true church that has a godly pastor who cares about your soul. How will you know that? Does the man teach you faithfully from the Word of God? Does He walk before you in a way that honours God’s Word?
If you are truly saved, the Holy Spirit will guide you in choosing a true church. God is not short on wisdom. He knows exactly what is right and He knows exactly where He wants you to be. The question is: will you listen to Him? He is Truth.
Paul was directed to declare that true saints need to think on things that are true.