Summary: Though this letter is a positive letter with words of encouragement to Philippians, yet there were issues that he had to address through his testimony and citing the kenosis theory of Christ. Read further to think and practice Truth.
Theme: Think and Practice Truth
Text: Philippians 4:1-9
The Lord is good and his love endures forever. I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Introduction to Philippians: Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians from the prison cell. Paul chained for the gospel. He was thinking about the Churches which he had established and visited during his missionary activities. He was troubled and perplexed about the issues in various congregations as they grew. He was pained to know the moral issues, power struggles and diluted concentration on the gospel activities among the believers and his trusted comrades. So, he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon from the Prison around 60-62 AD.
Though this letter is a positive letter with words of encouragement to Philippians, yet there were issues that he had to address through his testimony and citing the kenosis theory of Christ. The theme of our sermon: ‘think and practice the truth’. The passage from Philippians 4:1-9 contained the ideas of practical truths. It means handling truth practically and experimenting with the truth intra-personally and inter-personally daily basis.
Three things we have to do in the Lord. Stand firm in the Lord, Be bonded in the Lord and Rejoice in the Lord. Here, we will interchangeably use the words The Truth and The LORD. These are the same for our meditation and practical life.
1. Stand Firm in the Lord (Vv. 1, 8-9)
Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honourable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always (Philippians 4:8-9-TPT). Fill your minds with beauty and truth (ref: The Voice).
Think and practice the truth is being truthful in words and deeds. Humanity struggles to find persons of coordination of mind and actions, thought converted into action. We have people with imbalances in it, and we positioned on various occasions.
Is it not true that our thoughts had determined our action? Our mind has directed the organs to do what was in the mind blog. Everyday decisions we make affect our health and life in general. Thoughts feelings determine the actions.
Before instructing to Stand firm in Lord, Paul had explained his experience with Judaism and its doctrines. Paul had inscribed how he threw them as dust and dung and pursued the power of Christ overcoming death (Philippians 3:7-8). He warned the Philippians not to be like the men who serve their bellies and enjoy self-glory by setting their mind on earthly things. Standing firm means hearing the words of God and acting on them (Matthew 7:24-25).
Paul told them to fix their minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model their conduct on what they have learned from him (ref: Phillips Translation). Do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned (Ref: The MSG).
A study reveals that there is a relationship between thoughts and emotions in guiding habitual and nonhabitual behaviour. Thought was necessary to prompt action, which leads to the behaviour of a person. (Wendy Wood, Jeffrey M Quinn, Deborah A Kashy: Habits in everyday life: thought, emotion, and action).
The fallen angel and many fallen saints stories reveal the truth that their thoughts preceded their act of disobedience, sin and wickedness. Action is the by-product of the mind. For example., the eyes saw and send the desire to the mind to work on it before it could execute in the form of the actions. Lucifer, Eve and Achan all were on the same boat (Lucifer - Isaiah 14:12-15, Eve - Genesis 3:6 2 Corinthians 11:3, Achan - Joshua 7:21).
‘Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ(1 Peter 1:13). ‘For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness’ (Mark 7:21-22). The manner of life is the result of the mind (Ephesians 4:22-24). Therefore, set the mind on the things of the spirit (Romans 8:5-7).
2. Be bonded in the Lord (Vv. 2-3)
I plead with Euodia, and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord. I request you to settle your disagreement and be restored with one mind in our Lord, to make up your differences as Christians should! Please put aside your differences, agree, and work together in the Lord (Philippians 4:2 -TPT, Phillips, Voice).
The fight between the two women was an example of the situation of Christendom. It is the successful device Satan used throughout the centuries.