Phil. 4:8-9 Meditate On These Things And Do Them.

“Whatever things are true.” (8a) Post-moderns would have us accept the relativism that truth is purely subjective, and that which prevails does so from a position of power alone, and not objective veracity. Jesus faced the most powerful man in his sphere, from a human standpoint, and also taking a pagan approach Pilate asked what he must have thought was a rhetorical question: “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38) Ironically it is a question which came in the context of whether or not Jesus admitted to being a king, but Pilate actually speaking the truth that he found “no fault in Him at all.” The scriptures claim to be infallibly objectively true, and the one foundational norm for thought and life, and it is truth that we are called upon to speak (II Sam. 7:28; Mt. 22:16; Eph. 4:25).

“Whatever things are noble.” (8b) The name of Jesus is the most noble of all – worthy of honour. Whatever is true is also noble, thus the scriptures are also noble, and they help us to define what is noble. The same may be thought of justice, and what is pure, lovely, and “of good report.” (8cdef) “If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (8ghi) There is perhaps no verse in scripture requiring more cross-referencing word studies than this one. Each word Paul used here speaks volumes. In the scriptures we learn what is good and virtuous, stemming as they do from God’s own character, and so for this reason alone are praiseworthy. No one can better flourish in life than to meditate on the word that God has given, and see and govern all of one’s life by it.

Paul, and the Spirit through Paul, is not content with meditation alone, as we are to put the above things into practice (9a). The truth is something that can be learned, but not everyone receives it. Some live in sin seeking to suppress it (cf. Rom. 1:18). Again, many hear it, and even see it demonstrated by the regenerate elect, like Paul, but it is also necessary to follow such examples and be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” (Js. 1:22) Those who only read or hear, but refuse to repent and by the other gift of faith to live it, are living a life of self-deception. Only the regenerate, who by the Spirit evidence his fruit in living according to God’s word, will have a true and lasting peace (9b). With minds renewed by the word, our lives are transformed forever (Rom. 12:1-2).

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