Six “Whatsoever Things”
Phil. 4: 8-9
We continue on our lesson in the Book of Philippians. Listed here were the six “whatsoever things” which to my amazement were to be “think ” of or meditated. If you feed your thoughts with holy things then you will be able to live a holy life. If you meditate on God’s Word regularly, consistently and persistently, then you will be able to live righteously according to God’s standard. This maybe what the Holy Spirit wants us to know through this lesson.
I. The Six things (v. 8)
A. Whatsoever things are true
1. The word “true” here denotes the idea of living by the principles of truth. You must be true not only to yourself but on the way you deal with others. Your motives and conduct, and your words must always be truthfull.
2. “True” involves everything that is consistent with God’s character. Our God is a God of Truth (Deut. 32:4) in contrast to Satan who is the father of liars (Jn. 8:44).
3. Truth is one the foundation of good relationship. Truth builds trust between people.
4. We are commanded to avoid lying and speak only the truth. Eph. 4:25, Zech. 8: 16.
5. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Jn. 14:17), and God’s word is truth (Jn. 17:17).
6. In the Book of Revelations those that will not be able to enter the holy city includes liars (Rev. 22:15).
Illustration: Jesus is Truth Personalized
Jesus said: “I am the Truth—the Way to the Truth and the Life of the Truth.” It is not enough to say that Jesus speaks the Truth or brings the Truth. The fact is that Jesus is the Truth. He is the Truth personalized. If we wish to know the truth we must get to know Christ. When we know Christ we know everything that is worth knowing. If we see Christ, we shall see God. “If ye had known Me ye should have known My Father also.” If we learn of Christ we shall know what sin is and what righteousness is and what salvation is and the means of salvation. We shall understand eternal life if we know Christ. “This is eternal life, to know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). All we need to know about the Church and the judgment and the future we shall understand in the teaching of our Lord. (Heart-warming Bible Illustrations.)
B. Whatsoever things are honest
1. Honesty is marked by or displaying integrity; upright: e.g., an honest lawyer.
2. Not deceptive or fraudulent; genuine: honest weight.
3. Equitable; fair: e.g., honest wages for an honest day’s work.
4. Characterized by truth; not false: e.g., honest reporting.
5. Of good repute; respectable.
6. The word honest is found only seven times in the Bible and only on the NT.
In the late 1980s in Columbus, Ohio, an armoured car spilled $2,000,000 on the freeway. Only $400,000 was ever recovered, the rest disappeared with the throngs of people who stopped and
scooped up the cash. Some folks were honest enough to return what wasn’t theirs: Melvin Kaiser gave back $57,000. Those who have studied human personality say that if we know the people who lost the money, we’ll generally give it back. However, if we don’t know them, 75% of the time we’ll keep the cash. Few people are now honest.
A Filipino taxi driver returned the attaché case containing large amount of money left by a tourist in his cab. For his honesty, the tourist gave him a new car converted into a taxi cab. If I’m not mistaken he was given money also so he can repair his dilapidated house. He became famous and a role model for his honesty. Honesty is still the best policy. Jesus wants us to be honest.
C. Whatsoever things are just
1. Just here means upright, or righteous, having principles of goodness; or conforming exactly to the laws, and to principles of rectitude in social conduct; equitable in the distribution of justice; as a just judge.
2. Some people are termed just.
Jesus himself is termed just, (Acts 3:14). Pilate’s wife (Mt. 27:19), and Pilate (Mt. 27:24), knows that Jesus was a just man. Noah was a just man (Gen. 6:9), living by God’s righteous standard. Joseph, the wife of Mary was also a just man (Mt. 1:19). Let’s look at ourselves, are we just or not?
D. Whatsoever things are pure
1. To be pure is to be clean, innocent, chaste, and holy. In the NT Jesus and God is said to be pure (1 Jn. 3:3). Christians are to be pure, that is free from sin (1 Tim. 5:22). In James 3:17, wisdom that comes from above is pure.
2. Pure refers to that which is undefiled, something that resists or is untouched by evil. Both our motive and deeds must be undefiled if we are to build a proper attitude.
Robert Murray McCheyne wrote to Dan Edwards after the latter’s ordination as a missionary. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword,—His instrument,—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name “In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses as much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God”. Blessed are the pure in heart.
E. Whatsoever things are lovely
1. Lovely is anything that inclines the affection towards others. This quality endears and attracts others to ourselves by its grace.
2. Lovely is something that promotes friendship rather than conflict. A lovely person is free from hatred, bitterness, jealousy, envy.
In 1773, the young pastor of a poor church in Wainsgate, England, was called to a large and influential church in London. John Fawcett was a powerful preacher and writer, and these skills had brought him this opportunity. But as the wagons were being loaded with the Fawcetts’ few belongings, their people came for a tearful farewell. During the good-byes, Mary Fawcett cried, “John, I cannot bear to leave!” “Nor can I,” he replied. “We shall remain here with our people.” The
wagons were unloaded, and John Fawcett spent his entire fifty-four-year ministry in Wainsgate. Out of that experience, Fawcett wrote the beautiful hymn, “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.”
F. Whatsoever things are of good report
1. Well spoken, commendable, praiseworthy,
2. Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of all the praise.
John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the
man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he said with a touch of sarcasm. The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy, “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the meaning of true thankfulness.
Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”
II. Paul’s Example (v. 9)
A. The Philippians were to follow the example of the truth lived by Paul together with the spiritual things he taught them as he followed Christ.
1. He preached and the same time practiced what he preached
2. He lived a faithful life, serving the Lord to the best of his abilities.
3. He lived an honest life as exemplified with the other whatsoever we have just discussed.
4. He lived in humility and contentment, most of all he loved the Lord and the believers that he is willing to sacrifice his life for them.
5. For me all of the above can be summarized in one single verse which is 1 Tim. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
B. The God of peace will be with them and they would have perfect peace if they follow Paul’s example.
Thinking or meditating the six above is very important if we are to live a Godly life. The Lord wants us to follow the examples of Godly men like Paul. The result will be not only “possessing the peace of God” but also having the “God of peace” Himself. Will you do these things also as Paul had written