Phil 4:9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things~~ And the God of peace will be with you.
If you were allowed only one or two sentences to establish young believers in the faith so they would remain faithful to Christ for the rest of their lives, what would you say? Paul tells us that godly thinking is essential to establish the believer emotionally and spiritually (Phil 4:8).
In Philippians 4:9, he describes principles for carrying godly thinking into a godly lifestyle. We have no hope of being established in the faith without a disciplined life of obedience to God’s commands, and genuine worship is the consequence of the word of God richly dwelling in our hearts (Col 3:16). Mere feeling-based worship is insufficient for a changed life.
The listeners were commanded to “habitually do or practice,” what they had learned of God’s word. Christians must practice specific obedience to the New Testament commands as we seek to honor the Savior. How do we know what to practice? A sole focus on doctrine often overlooks obedience. Paul said that “practice” was to be what his disciples learned, received, heard, and saw.
The word “learned” refers to “teaching, learning, instructing and discipling.” Jesus said, “[Teach] them to obey all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20). Preaching the truth is not enough. Disciples must understand and be held accountable to practice the commands. Timothy was a learner: “You followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance” (2 Tim 3:10; 2:2).
The word “received” refers to an attitude of commitment both to practice and to pass along. Paul wrote to Timothy, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2).
They heard not only what God had revealed to Paul but also about Paul’s transformed character, reputation, and godly lifestyle. He intentionally lived by principles and commands that God had taught him so he could pass them on to others.
They saw Paul’s lifestyle when he started the church and knew there was no gap between what he taught and how he lived; this was the basis of Paul’s credibility.
If you practice such obedience, you are promised that “the God of peace will be with you.” All worry, anxiety, and depression will be dissolved when you fill your mind and life with the practice of His commands and delight in His presence.
“Lord, why do I take Your word so lightly? Do I think I can get away with ignorance or neglect? Forgive me for not loving all You have commanded. Today I will search for a command to obey for You.”
In order to practice this command today, I am going to …