philippians 4, believing and doing
Monday 2 September 2013
Posted by on
Read Philippians 4 at Bible Gateway.
The whole chapter of Philippians 4 is part of a greater chiastic structure which we will get into tomorrow. For today:
1a) Phi 4:7a, The peace of God which passes understanding;
1b) Phi 4:7b, Will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus;
central axis) Phi 4:8, Whatever things are true and of a good report, meditate on these things;
2b) Phi 4:9a, The things which you learned and saw in me, do;
2a) Phi 4:9b, And the God of peace will be with you.
At first glance it does not seem as if the B pairs go together. But they are wrapped up by the peace of God, and the God of peace, so that is our clue that we are on the right track.
The subject of the 1B pair is what we believe, the intentions of the heart and the thoughts of the mind. This instruction follows the admonition to be anxious for nothing, but let our requests be made known to God. In other words, the fear that grips our hearts, and the worried, worst- case- scenario thoughts that plague our minds – we can reign in those negative beliefs by placing the things we need in God’s hands and leaving them there, and cultivating best- case- scenario thoughts and beliefs instead.
So if the subject of the 1B pair is belief, the subject of the 2B pair is action. Do the things that we’ve learned. In fact, the pure religion of God does not end with what we believe, and is not only about what we do, our works. But believing and doing are paired together. Out of the saving faith that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit inspires us to action. The theological terms are justification, being made righteous before God by our faith, not our works; and sanctification, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
To be continued …