Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In Philippians 4:9 Paul equips us with the ability learn, receive, hear and see as we walk with the God of peace. This will enable us to live as those who are joyful, gentle, at peace and perceptive.

You can listen to the full message here:-



Philippians 4:9

“You Can Be Teachable”

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I’ve had this habit since I was in primary school.

People will just have to accept me the way that I am.

Have you heard people use phrases like this?

Basically what they are saying is, “I don’t want to be something, or do something, different.”

To be fair we shouldn’t be forcing our expectations onto others.

And we do need to accept people the way they are.

But our non-forcing and acceptance also needs to keep Scripture into account.

In Philippians 4:4-9 Paul has been talking about living a particular life in Christ.

In Christ You Can …

… be joyful

… be gentle

… have peace

… have perspective

This is the abundance of life that is being offered to all who know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Life … life to the full … now.

Not waiting until eternity for all the good stuff.

But stepping into each day knowing that we can be such people.

However, to have this life, there is one more attitude in Christ that you need. Paul tells us about it in verse 9.

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.

The attitude is a willingness to be teachable.

If, you are not joyful, or gentle, or at peace, or lacking perspective

And … at the same time … you also have the attitude of

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

I’ve had this habit since I was in primary school.

People will just have to accept me the way that I am.

If you are not willing to be teachable - then everything that we have focussed on in the last month is useless to you.

That may sound like a blunt statement.

But it is very deliberate. Because Paul is being very deliberate here.

He starts by offering a life in Christ which is very appealing.

Who doesn’t want to be joyful, or gentle, or at peace, or having perspective?

If this is the life you want then, in Christ, you need to be teachable.

How teachable?

Paul uses four words to describe the type of teach ability we need.


Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

The yoke puts two animals together.

Older and younger.

The purpose is for the older one to teach the younger one as they work together.

This learning has a specific focus.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14-15

Be aware of who you are learning from … if you learn from the wrong people … it can be disastrous.

eg … Beer advertisement … kids see.

It is an Australian ad ... find it here:-


eg … The learning misdirection of youtube.

(You can give many examples relevant to your context)

Those who are teachable make sure they are learning from Scripture centred people.


Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

Receiving is very much focused on Scripture teaching.

Receiving truth.

Receiving the Word

Studying and growing.

Being equipped to understand.

That was the primary ministry of Paul and it was a ministry which equipped so many.

It is an aspect of life which never stops.

Receiving means having a life-long willingness to listen to the Word.

Acts 18:24-26 - Apollos still learning.

While at the same time being discerning.

Acts 17:11

Those who are teachable make sure their receiving is always Scripture centred.


Very common NT word - 427 times.

Not just about Scripture.

But hearing a person’s life.

Casual dinner … what do they say?

Out shopping … what language comes from their mouth?

The jokes?

The situational responses?

That is a huge thing for Paul to get people to respond to.

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