3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: What we think about has a lot to do with the peace that we experience.

Philippians 4:8-9

Sunday, July 28, 2002

How important is your mind? How important are the kinds of things that you think about?

There are two extremes in our society:

#1 Our minds are not important. What we fill our minds with really has no effect on the reality around us. We hear this line of rational every time someone questions whether violence on TV has any effect on people. Oh no, the media says - our violence never leads someone to actually do violence. Even worse, here in Canada, a man was aquitted on certain child pornography charges because they were the products of his own mind and are therefore artistic expressions. Even though he has violent and perverted fantasies there is no indication that he would ever do those things in real life.

#2 Our minds control reality. It started with Norman Vincent Peale’s the Power of Positive Thinking. Think good things and good things will happen. Now it has moved on to visualization. You can bend reality by the power of your mind.

I believe that the biblical truth is found somewhere between these two extremes and today we will seek to discover it as we examine the next section of Philippians together.

1. The first Challenge 4:8

a. The list

true - obvious - what is honest as opposed to what is deceit

Noble - KJV honest -

4586 semno,j semnos {sem-nos’} • from 4576; TDNT - 7:191,1010; adj • AV - grave 3, honest 1; 4 • 1) august, venerable, reverend 2) to be venerated for character, honourable 2a) of persons 2b) of deeds

Right - righteous - that which is in harmony with God’s righteousness

Pure - holy, morally clean, and undefiled

Lovely - sweet, gracious, -- that which attracts rather than repels

Admirable - Good Report whatever is well thought of

b. The command

Dwell on these things

C. The reason

Mark 7:18 "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ’unclean’?

19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")

20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him ’unclean.’

21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,

22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ’unclean.’"

NIV Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

NIV Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Destroys the first extreme - our thoughts do affect us.

Garbage in Garbage out

Pornography, violence, profanity

But also the more subtle, criticism, bitterness, anger

2. The second challenge 4:9a

Thinking right is the beginning - now Pual urges them to put into action.

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.

16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-- and shudder.

Destroys the second extreme - thinking alone won’t change reality - rather godly thinking is the foundation for godly action

3. The conclusion 4:9b

The God of Peace will be with you.

MacArthur -- Commentary on Philippians

It is a reminder that those who have godly attitudes, thoughts, and deeds will be guarded both by the peace of God and by the God of Peace.

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