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Philippians, Chapter Four, Lesson Two

LEARNING TO BE CONTENT           Page 3

V. 9 ** The Word of God is calling for us to control our thought life to the glory of God. That is no easy trick! From where could we get an example to follow in this lofty calling to be Holy in thought?

The apostle Paul himself said,"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things..."

** Before we get to his actual instruction, let's break down his fourfold statement. How had the Philippians been exposed to Paul?

1) They had learned
2) They had received

These first two are linked together in reference to the teaching of the apostle and how it was applied by the Philippians. It was not enough to have gained a head knowledge from Paul, they also needed to apply what he had taught them, and they did! cf. James 1:22

3) They had heard
4) They had seen

The second set is also linked and speaks of the integrity of Paul. His lifestyle matched his teaching. They had heard many reports about Paul (like the one they would hear from Epaphroditus upon receiving this letter) and they had personally observed his life from the times that he was with them. cf. Acts 16:11-15

** What does that say to us; whenever we are given the opportunity to share the truth of God's Word with someone, how is our conduct connected to what we say?

If we are to be believable, we must "practice what we preach" - if God's Word is going to change them, they must see that it has changed us first!

** Bouncing off that thought, does Paul leave the saints in Philippi (or us) at the meditation level of life? What were they to do with those four forms of interaction with Paul? Is it enough to merely think properly?

No! Our godly thought life precedes our godly conduct...we need to "practice these things" that we have seen lived out in the life of Paul.

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