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Some Notes on Philippians 4:5-9
February 25, 2017      |     By: Brock McKay      |      Category: Sermons



Dr. Brock McKay shares physical techniques for dealing with panic attacks as well as spiritual methods as found in Philippians 4:5-9.

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Notes

Philippians 4:5-9
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


Everyone is familiar with the portion regarding not being anxious about anything, wherein if we process these things, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, letting God know, then, say the scriptures, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


Everyone knows that part, as well we should. Further, there are two bookends that Paul uses to enclose this profound teaching on anxiety.


First, in vs 5, he exhorts us, with repetition for emphasis, to rejoice always (which is really a restating of 3:1, again for emphasis). Rejoicing is the first bookend that supports the ‘volumes’ of vs 6 and 7.


Vs 7 says the peace of God will be with us.
Vs 8 forms this remarkable second bookend that buttresses the anti-anxiety portion of 6 and 7, and in effect is a restating, again for emphasis, of 2:1:


Paul says in (NASB) vs 8,
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise…..


I started to look up how else that verse is translated and was amazed at how many different ways it is translated in different scriptures/versions/translations, all to the same effect and with great expansion and breadth. I had no idea.

Here is what Paul is saying we are to focus on:
Whatever is –
TRUE
pure
gracious
amiable
righteous
compelling
respectful
commendable
of good repute
any virtue
any praise of discipline
any worthiness
any moral excellence
fair
precious
honorable
lovely
modest
honest
reputable
real
merciful
praiseworthy
any excellence
any praise
wins respect
the best
worthy of respect
acceptable
deeds of glory
right
lovable
holy
winsome
authentic
admirable
kind
of good report
worthy of praise
of good fame
deemed worthy of praise
the beautiful
venerable
excellent
deserves praise


Then, after this list of things we are to focus our attention on, (which means, by definition, we are NOT focusing on the negatives and the awfuls that the evil one demands of us [as if he has that right]), the scriptures vary in what we are to do with these remarkable things; these instructions are telling and significant in and of themselves—
fix your thoughts on
keep thinking on
mediate on
dwell on
practice
ponder
cherish the thought of
think on these things
fill your mind and meditate on
keep your thoughts on
exercise yourself in these things


These are not passive instructions but exhortations that form the second bookend for the great verses 6 & 7. So, we have the “rejoice always” as one bookend, and the “dwelling on” all those remarkable aspects of wherever we are in vs 8 as the second bookend.


Then, if that is not enough, Paul crowns it all off with vs 9, where he says that if we practice what we “have learned and received and heard and seen” in Paul, in contrast to the wonderful promise of vs 7 that the peace of God will be with us, in vs 9 Paul promises the God of peace will be with us.


I work with anxiety disorders and depression day in and day out. What I know from my field is this rule, true for all of us--kids, adolescents, adults, oldsters: 
            Whatever I focus on, I AMPLIFY.


Hence, this being the case and true, if I am busy dwelling on and focusing on, and therefore, amplifying whatever is good and pure and real and authentic and lovable and honorable, I will, as a rule of human functioning, amplify these things. This is not positive thinking. It is rather a refusal to adopt the pessimism and negativity that aligns me with the evil one and opposes and obscures the work that God is always doing and is always about—His good and His honorable and His right and His pure……

Philippians 4:5-9
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


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