10/06/2017 in: Food for Thoughton
This week, we are focusing on teaching others how to study the Bible. One of our favorite methods is the SOAP study: Scripture, observation, application, and prayer. Here’s our findings from our study on Philippians 4:8-9 while using the Blackaby Study Bible.
Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Taken from the Blackaby Study Bible introductory notes on the book of Philippians.
The early church accepted Philippians as an authentic letter written by the apostle Paul (Phil. 1:1), and modern scholars agree. Paul wrote the letter from prison (1:13, 14), almost certainly in Rome (Acts 28:16–31) in A.D. 61–62. His situation confined him, but it did not keep him from communicating with churches and preaching the gospel to his captors (Phil. 1:12–14).
A notable feature is Paul’s sensitivity to the Christian mind. He challenged believers to strive together “with one mind” (Phil. 1:27), to be “like-minded” (2:2), to be “in lowliness of mind” (2:3), and to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ” (2:5). Other statements include: “as many as are mature, have this mind” (3:15), and the peace of God will “guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (4:7).
Paul asserted that the Philippians’ enemies “set their mind on earthly things” (3:19). He was concerned that Christians have a godly perspective as protection against false and corrupt teachers. This defense was found in knowing Christ personally (3:8–10) and meditating on that which is from God (4:8). In particular, Paul used the life of Christ as the ultimate example of how Christians ought to think and act (2:5–11).
Taken from the Blackaby Study Bible notes on this passage.
The Greek word logizomai, translated “meditate,” has various nuances. It can mean to account, consider, or let one’s mind dwell on something. Paul’s focus was not indifferent examination, but practical consideration that leads to action. We are not merely to reflect on a principle, but we are to live according to all the implications of God’s great salvation. That takes energy, striving to know fully all of what God desires for our life. When we consider what God has promised His children and meditate on the truth revealed in His Word, the Holy Spirit works those truths into our lives.
Set a goal for yourself this week! Pray and meditate on God’s promises for 5 minutes before bed—or any other goal you can think of to help you apply this information to your life.
The Blackaby Study Bible notes give great snippets of information to enrich your Bible study: historical notes, encouragement, and word studies. You can currently get this resource for only $10! Grow in your understanding and application of God’s Word. Learn more on our website!