Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 4

The gospel changes lives in the best way

Philippians 4:9

In verse 8, Paul described the kind of things that we should think about. We should love those things that are truly excellent; we should approve of those things that deserve praise. These are the things that are true and honourable and right; they are good in every way.

Now Paul tells us where we can find such things.

Of course, there are many things in this world that seem to offer such qualities. For example, it may seem good to have money. However in reality, the love of money causes people to carry out all kinds of evil acts (1 Timothy 6:10; James 5:1-6). We could say similar things about the desire for happiness (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2), knowledge (Genesis 2:17), possessions (Mark 8:36) and many other things.

So Paul urges his readers to remember what they learned from him in the gospel message (God’s message about Christ). That message is completely right and good in every way, because God is completely right and good (James 1:17). Philippi’s Christians did not merely hear that message. They believed it. They heard about the effect that it had on Paul’s private life. They saw the effect that it had on Paul’s public life. They chose to imitate him, to live even as he lived (3:17). So, their lives too became right and good, because now they were living to please God. They no longer wanted to continue in the foolish and evil behaviour that they may have followed previously. They no longer could approve of behaviour that was not modest or right or true. Love for God and for other people directed all their actions.

When Christians live in such a manner, God gives them his peace; in other words, their relationship with God helps them to be calm and content, even in difficult situations (4:7).

Next part: Philippi's Christians never forgot Paul (Philippians 4:10)


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