9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Now that Paul has done his best to get the congregation thinking the right way, he gives a final admonition on what they should do. It’s almost worth going back and looking at the different ways he tells them to think. I know we spent a lot of time on this but there’s nothing more important than getting our thought life straight. So the things were going to think about are things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. If you missed the posts on each of these characteristics, please go back to the last 8 posts and enjoy them
With that in mind, let’s look at the things that Paul says here that they need to do now that he has them thinking the right way. First, they need to do the things that they’ve learned. As we look back at the Philippian Church, they learned about salvation, they have learned about the Holy Ghost, they have learned about deliverance (remember Paul was delivered from prison in Philippi), they have learned how to pray, and the power of prayer, and they have learned humility. Now they need to do these things.
What have they received? They have received salvation. They have received the Holy Ghost. They received several of Paul’s co-workers to help minister the gospel. They most likely received immeasurable blessings from the Lord. So they need to do these things. How did they do these things? They share them with others. That’s how we do the things that we receive – we give them away. When was the last time you prayed for somebody to receive Christ. I have to admit it’s been awhile for me. I need to give away some of the things that I’ve received.
And what if they heard? They heard the gospel message. They’ve heard about humility. They’ve heard about their thought process. They’ve heard about sacrifice. They’ve heard about being like-minded. They’ve heard about deliverance from prison. They’ve heard about the power of prayer. Now they need to do these things. It’s not enough to just go to church and hear the sermon. When we hear it, we should do it. When was the last time you acted upon a sermon that your pastor gave? You might say to me that he’s not a very inspiring speaker. He hasn’t inspired me to go out and do things. I’ve heard it said that Jonathan Edwards was not a very fiery preacher either but people would feel like they were burning in hell as he sat in the chair and delivered his message.
When it comes to hearing and doing it’s up to you. The pastors job is to deliver the message God has given Him for that day. I am a firm believer that if I am sitting in that congregation, God has something for me in that sermon, and it’s my responsibly to listen and act upon it. It’s not up to your pastor to put it in some dainty little package. It’s up to you to act on the word of God. So stop paying attention to how it’s delivered and pay attention to the word that’s given.
Lastly he says to do the things that they’ve seen in him. What have they seen Paul do? They’ve seen him give his life for the gospel. They’ve seen him worship and praise the Lord while he was in prison. They’ve seen him traveling all over the place to minister the word. They’ve seen him not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. These are the things I need to do. And, as a side note, would I be comfortable telling people to do the things they have seen in me? How about you? I’ll leave that as a rhetorical question.
Paul then leaves them with this thought: if they all do these things God will be with them and He will give them peace. I don’t want to be questioning whether I’m doing what God wants me to do or not. I can have peace with God by just doing the things that I’ve learned, received, heard and seen others do. I think I better get busy.