A study of Philippians 4:8-9 encourages you to center your mind on Godly thoughts, equips you to renew your mind, and guides you towards Godly activities.
A study of Philippians 4:8-9 encourages you to center your mind on Godly thoughts
Toxic thoughts that occupy your mind will destroy your attitude and affect your behavior. Because sinful actions originate as sinful thoughts. So Paul describes a formula for taking charge of what enters and inhabits your mind. A “how to” template for proactively centering your mind on God honoring thoughts.
true… (alḗtheia) An objective reality that is firm, solid, and based on what’s valid, reliable, and honest. When used in reference to people it suggests integrity of character in action, speech, or thought.
honorable... (semna) Some translations say “noble”. The word suggests what is dignified or elevated. And it’s used in other New Testament passages to describe church leaders. When used in that sense, it means what makes them worthy of respect.
just... (dikaia) Some translations say “right” and it means what conforms to God’s standards.
pure…(hagna) Emphasizes moral purity and sometimes refers specifically to sexual purity.
lovely… (prosphilē) Is only used here in the New Testament and suggests what is pleasing, agreeable or amiable.
commendable… (euphēma) Some translations say “admirable”. It means what is well spoken of, attractive, and meets the highest standards.
Take a moment to reflect on these words. Do any of them jump out at you? Write down your thoughts about it.
A study of Philippians 4:8-9 equips you to renew your mind
if there is any excellence, (arete) if there is anything worthy of praise, (epainos) think about these things
The Greek word for “think” is logizesthe, and means to take into account. To reflect on Godly matters and allow them to shape your conduct. In other words, take charge of what enters and stays in your mind. And direct your thoughts to glorify God rather than passively let sinful thoughts direct you.
Since we live in a fallen world, all Christ-followers wage an ongoing battle against sin. Fortunately, God covers us with His grace and forgiveness. And Romans 12:2 reveals a powerful remedy…the renewing of your mind.
How? By replacing toxic, sinful thoughts with Godly thoughts by meditating on scripture and invoking the power of praise. Scripture passages like Philippians 4:8-9 and Psalm 119:11 provide a template to follow.
REFLECT & RECORD
What are some practical ways you can apply the ideas in Philippians 4:8-9 and Psalm 119:11?
A study of Philippians 4:8-9 guides you towards Godly activities
V. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Your thoughts aren’t the only thing that influence your behavior. So do people. Therefore, hang around people who demonstrate the Godly life you want to imitate. Because your friends will influence your behavior. So choose them carefully.
Both 1 Corinthians 15:33 and Psalm 119:113 warn of people to avoid. Ultimately, your thoughts and convictions will demonstrate themselves through your words and actions. Paul offers himself as a model for the Philippians to follow.
But we have the entire Bible to guide us in the things we should practice. And that involves regular study to understand and apply what it says.
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