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The Epistle to the Hebrews PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

Paul uses a grammatical construction here called a synonmia, and it is where the words have similar meanings but may sound different. It is a form of repetition that draws the reader to see that this is of great importance. We have the words “learned” (μανθάνω manthanō), “received” (παραλαμβάνω paralambanō), “heard” (ἀκούω akouō), and “seen” (εἶδον eidon) which point to what Paul is saying is what they need to pay attention to. Paul pairs two sets of words – “learned” and “received” in one set, and “heard” and “seen” in the second.

Developing Healthy Churches

The first pair of words is in the aorist tense, indicative mood, which means that there is no reference to how long a time span has been involved in the past.[1] The word learned means to increase one’s knowledge – frequently by observation.[2] The word received means to receive from another.[3]

The second pair – “heard” and “seen” are also in the aorist tense and indicative mood. The word heard and seen carry exactly what we use them for – the bodily senses of hearing and sight. He tells them they heard and saw these things “in me” (Greek en emoi). In other words, Paul spent time instructing them in living the mind of Christ by the very life he lived. They heard and saw a living example of how one was to live the mind of Christ in this world.

Paul tells them to “practice” these things. The Greek word is (πράσσω prassō), and is a present tense, imperative mood – thus, it is a command for continuing action. In other words, “do it and keep on doing it.” Paul says you have witnessed and increased your knowledge of the mind of Christ by watching me, now go and do the same. Make it a habit in your life.

The God of peace (Greek Theos tos eirenes) complements “the peace of God” (Greek eirene ton Theos) in verse 7 of this chapter. Paul wants the believers at Philippi to see that life with these characteristics encourages God’s presence, and God’s presence produces peace.

Again, consider how we entered this passage with anxiety and worry, and we come out of the passage with peace. The difference is made by prayer and seeking to live habitually out the mind of Christ daily.

Paul now will encourage the Philippian believers that following the practical counsel that he has just provided can lead to one having peace in all areas of their life – they can have joy in adverse circumstances.

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

More in-depth Insights

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things. The Christians in Philippi needed to put into practice what they had seen concerning the apostle Paul, what they had learned of him, heard about him. Paul is drawing attention to his unchanging, undeviating conduct that is known of him if one has seen it, knows of it, or has heard of it. This is what they are to imitate. You will recall in 3:17; Paul said, “Brothers join in imitating me, and observe those who walk according to the example you have in us.” Paul led a pure and upright life that was second to none. The only more extraordinary person at that time was Jesus Christ himself, whom we are also to imitate. However, Paul tells us in the epistle to the Hebrews,[4] “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7.

And the God of peace will be with you. The God who gives us peace will be with us as we imitate Jesus Christ, Paul, and pastors who are worthy of our imitation. Paul tells us elsewhere, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless[5] at the coming[6] of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thes. 5:23) What Paul means here about imitating him certainly falls into the camp of imitating Christ and worthy pastors, which is a life course that saw the blessing of the God of peace, which they would see as well in their lives. If one is going to live a life blessed by the God of peace, one must walk with God.[7]

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1

[1] Corey Keating, Greek Verbs (Shorter Form), http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/verbs1.htm (accessed 2014 йил 21-04).

[2] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 360.

[3] Ibid. Page 510.

[4] THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS: Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews? By Edward D. Andrews (ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1949586749)

[5] Blameless: (Heb. תָּם tam; תָּמִים tamim; Gr. ἄμωμος amōmos; ἀμώμητος amōmētos; ἀπρόσκοπος aproskopos) means, “perfect, blameless, sincerity, entire, whole, complete, and full.” Of course, Noah, Jacob, and Job were not literally perfect. When used of imperfect humans, the terms are relative, not absolute. However, if one is fully committed to following a life course based on God’s will and purposes, fully living by his laws, repents when he falls short, God will credit his righteousness. – Gen. 6:6; 25:27; Job 9:20-22l Ps. 119:1; Pro. 11:20; Phil 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:23.

[6] Presence; Coming: (παρουσία parousia) The Greek word which is rendered as “presence” is derived from para, meaning “with,” and ousia, meaning “being.” It denotes both an “arrival” and a consequent “presence with.” Depending on the context, it can mean “presence,” “arrival,” “appearance,” or “coming.” In some contexts, this word is describing the presence of Jesus Christ in the last days, i.e., from his ascension in 33 C.E. up unto his second coming, with the emphasis being on his second coming, the end of the age of Satan’s reign of terror over the earth. We do not know the day nor the hours of this second coming. (Matt 24:36) It covers a marked period of time with the focus on the end of that period. – Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6-7; 10:10; Php 1:26; 2:12; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:2.

[7] Walk: (הָלַךְ halak) in integrity (Heb. tōm) a state of blamelessness being free of guilt. (Prov. 2:7) In the Bible, the expression “to walk” is figurative and illustrative and can mean to follow a certain course of action, as “Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9; 5:22) Those who walk with God follow the life course outlined by God’s Word and will find his favor, that is, be pleasing to him. Pursuing such a life course makes you different from most unbelievers. The Greek New Testament uses the same illustrative expression, contrasting two different courses of action sought by one before and after becoming a servant of God. (Eph. 2:2, 10; 4:17; 5:2) Similarly, “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. (1 Pet. 4:4) God tells us that the prophets in Judah “ran” though he did not send them, yet they took the prophetic course, prophesied falsely. (Jer. 23:21) Paul gives us a visual picture of the Christian course in terms of “running.” He compares it to a race that a person must run while also obeying the rules of the race if they are to win the prize. – 1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; 5:7.

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