Right Thinking

I. The “final” admonition summary focuses on our “thinking.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

A. The list in verse 8 requires “thinking” (Philippians 4:9)

1. The Word is logidzomai = “to take an inventory.”

2. The Gospel of Mark notes that the Lord Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” (Mark 15:28, quoting from Isaiah 53:12).

3. Romans 4:3-4 -- For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

4. The description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:5 notes that love “thinketh no evil”

B. The inventory includes Truth.

1. Aletheia – Literally means” that which is not hidden.”

2. The definition of this term is expressed well in John 7:18 – “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

a. Jesus Himself is the embodiment of Truth (John 14:6)
b. The Word of God is Truth (John 17:17)
c. The armor of God includes Truth (Ephesians 6:14)

C. The inventory includes Honesty.

1. Semnos – “Honesty” is not just accuracy, but “sober” and “venerable.” 

a. Used of church officers (1 Timothy 2:2; 3:8)
b. Titus 2:2-3 -- That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things

2. Sometimes the meaning is “magnificent” or “great.” 

D. The inventory includes Justice.

1. Dikaios –means righteous, just, equitable, suitable. 

2. Romans 7:12 -- Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

3. Colossians 4:1 -- Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

4. Proverbs 10:31-32 -- The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom…The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable”

E. The inventory includes Purity.

1. ‘Agnos – venerable, sacred; almost always used as morally and sexually chaste.  Closely connected with “holiness.”

2. 1 John 3:2-3 -- Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

3. James 3:17 -- But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

F. The inventory includes Loveliness.

1. Prosphiles – a compound word from pros (advantage for, or toward) and phileo (be a friend, be fond of).  Thus the word suggests beauty, friendship, delight, wonder.  (Only used this one time in N.T.)

2. Luke 12:27 -- Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

3. Ephesians 5:8-10 -- For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

G. This inventory includes Good News.

1. Euphemos – “words of good sound” (only time used in the N.T.)

2. This takes discipline.  There is far more bad news than good in this world.  We are admonished to “inventory” (dwell on; recall) the “good reports.”

3. Proverbs 25:25 --   As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country

H. This inventory includes Virtuous things.

1. Arete – is used of manliness, excellence, moral goodness.

2. 2 Peter 3:3 -- According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

3. 1 Peter 2:9 -- But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I. This inventory includes Praiseworthy things.

1. Epainos -- fame, commendation, praise

2. Romans 13:3 -- … do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same

II. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

A. We must first learn.

1. We learn by watching the actions and lives of others.

a. First, of course, our parents, then our peers and educators
b. Politicians, business leaders, musicians, celebrities – all provide “lessons” that we learn.
c. Paul insists that the Philippians have “seen In” him godliness.

2. We must learn directly from the Heavenly Father.

a. John 6:44-45 -- No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
b. Jeremiah 31:3 -- The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

3. We must learn from the Scriptures.

a. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 -- But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
b. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

B. We must then receive and hear.

1. The key to “learning” is active attention!  One must first receive, hear, and see. 

2. The Thessalonians were commended because they “received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). 

3. The Berea’s were “more nobel” because they “searched the Scriptures” (Acts 17:11). 

4. The wise preacher “gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.” (Ecclesiastes 12:9)

a. Pay close attention
b. Penetrate for clarity and application
c. Put together memorable principles

5. Matthew 13:9 -- Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

6. Matthew 13:16 -- But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

C. We must, ultimately, do.

1. Information, however well absorbed, is worthless without the “doing” of that which is learned.

a. Prasso is the word used in Philippians 4:9.  It means “practice”
b. John 3:20 -- For every one that doeth (practice) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
c. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 -- And that ye study to be quiet, and to do (practice) your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

2. Philosophers in Athens were scorned because “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). 

3. We must work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling” since God has chosen to work His “doing” through us (Philippians 2:12-13)

Romans 7:18-25 – ESV

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

2 Corinthians 8:10-12 – ESV

And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.

So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.

For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.

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