Philippians 4:8 - Thinking Things That are Just

Steve Viars February 24, 1996 Philippians 4:8

- OK, now let's get back to Phil. 4:8

- remember, so far we've studied the first two criteria:

    1) whatsoever things are true...

          - as opposed to that which is false

          - whatsoever things are true, as opposed to that which is
            disconnected from reality.

    2) whatsoever things are honorable...


          - as opposed to that which is frivolous.

- this morning, we're talking about the third word, "whatsoever things
   are just."

- lets start as we often have, by asking:

I. What Is Just (Right) Thinking?

    - this is a very common word in the NT
    - its often translated as right, righteous, righteousness...which of
        course is a major theme in the Bible.

    - one writer defined this word (dikaia) as "upright or just,
      conformable to God's standards and thus worthy of His approval."

    - The United Bible Society's Dictionary defines this as "conforming
      to the standard, will, or character of God; upright, righteous,
      good, just, right, proper, in a right relationship with God, fair,
      honest, innocent."

    - William Hendriksen said "In all his planning, let the Christian ask
      himself, Is this in harmony with God's will and law?"

- now, we really need to concentrate at this point.
- the Lord undoubtedly put this word in this list because its an area in
   which we're prone to fail.

- so, let's try to brainstorm how that might be true:


II. In What Areas Might Our Thinking Might Not Be Just?


    (on white board -- as many specific examples as possible)


- when you think about all the ways we might violate this command, its
   pretty sobering.
- but that’s not the end of the discussion...because when we think about
   righteousness -- we also need to:

III. Remember, Our Original Thinking Was Anything But Just

    - there are some strong statements in the Bible about just how
      unrighteous we were apart from Christ.

    A. Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb, these who
           speak lies go astray from birth.

    B. Psalm 51:5 - In sin my mother conceived me.


    C. Isaiah 64:6 - All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.


    D. Rom. 3:10 - There is none righteous, no not one.


       -- these verses (and there are many more like them) explain all
          the things we wrote up on the board.
       -- thinking "justly" is anything but standard equipment.

       - the "ruts in our minds" were exactly the opposite of just and
          righteous thinking.

- but thank the Lord for this last idea...
IV. That's Why It Is Such A Great Privilege to be Reconciles to the Just
    God of Heaven.

    A. He is righteous

        - the Father - John 17:25, I John 1:9, Rev. 16:5

        - the Son - I John 2:1, 29, 3:7

        *** Rev. 15:3

 


    B. He clothes us in the righteousness of Christ

        II Cor. 5:21

    C. We are to be slaves of righteousness

        - Rom. 6:12-14, 16-18 (ESP. 18)

      \

                        A Blueprint for Thinking

    As people endowed with the mind of Christ, Christians need to apply
this knowledge to every area of their lives.  The teaching of Christ of
Christ does not simply lead one to salvation, but it provides a framework
in which we are to function in our relationships, ministries, and
vocations.  Christian knowledge shapes our thinking, but it does not
shape it through some magical process in which we are uninvolved.  Our
thinking is shaped by the Spirit through the Word of God, and that
instruction has direct bearing on how we think about every facet of life.
In other words, Christians should see every aspect of life, economics,
politics, education, personal relationships, from a Christian point of
view.  Such a perspective is called a Christian worldview.
    A worldview is what a person believes about God, reality, knowledge,
humanity, and morality.  An atheistic worldview is obviously very
different from a Christian worldview.  Everyone perceives reality from a
certain worldview.  They might not be able to articulate that worldview,
but it is there nonetheless, forming their opinions and values.  Many
people remain ignorant all their lives of their underlying philosophies
and worldviews that shape their thinking, and, sadly, many in the church
continue to live in such darkness because they have not grasped what it
truly means to have the mind of Christ.
    More than anyone else in the world, the Christian should be fully
aware of what shapes his thinking.  He should be consciously subjecting
his mind to the teaching of God's Word and applying that instruction to
every area of his life.  For the Christian to remain in the dark about
what it means to develop and maintain a Christian worldview is a
dangerous thing.  It means that he may be searching the Scriptures on
Sunday to know how to worship God, but he fails to see the connection
between the teaching of Christ and his daily life throughout the week.
He fails to see how God's Word relates to his work, his family, his
politics, and his education.

1. Does this writer believe that developing the "mind of Christ" is a
   passive process?  Do you agree or disagree?

 


2. What is a Christian worldview?

 


3. What do you especially like about this article?

 


4. What do you find especially challenging about this article?

 


5. How should these ideas affect our study of Philippians 4:8?

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video