Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we began to consider certain excellent characteristics of the Christian life, pointing out that in 4:5-9 we have the expression of a life that lives Christ. From verses 5 and 6 we saw that such a life exhibits forbearance, but has no anxiety. In this message, a continuation of the preceding one, we shall go on to see six governing aspects of a life that lives Christ.
Paul gives us these governing aspects in verse 8: “For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is righteous, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is well-spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things.”
The first governing aspect of a life that lives Christ is “whatever is true.” The word true here means truthful ethically, not merely true in matter of fact. In the expression of a life that lives Christ there can be no falsehood, no lying. Everything we do or say must be truthful. No one who lives Christ should practice falsehood of any kind. A life that is the expression of Christ is a truthful one.
The second aspect is “whatever is honorable.” The Greek word rendered honorable means venerable, worthy of reverence, noble, grave (1 Tim. 3:8, 11; Titus 2:2), implying the idea of dignity, which inspires and invites reverence. A life that lives Christ will be honorable, noble, grave, solid, weighty, and dignified.
We should not think that only older people should be weighty. All the young people, even the teen-agers, should also have dignity. Even a young brother in junior high school should have dignity, for he has God within him. He is a vessel containing God as his worth, weight, and dignity.
To have dignity is not to act important; it is to live God. A jewelry box containing a diamond ring has dignity not because of the box itself, but because of the diamond. It is the diamond in the box which gives dignity to the box. In like manner, we are a vessel containing Christ. If we live Him, we shall have true dignity. When others see us bearing such a dignity, they will have a deep respect for us. The dignity implied in the Greek word for honorable always inspires a profound respect. This dignity is the second governing aspect of the expression of a life that lives Christ.
In verse 8 Paul also speaks of “whatever is righteous.” This refers to what is right (not just) before God and man. Doing what is right is another governing aspect related to the living of Christ.
The word pure in the expression “whatever is pure” means single in intention and action, without any mixture. To be pure in this way is to have no pretense. Purity is also a governing aspect of the life that lives Christ.
Yet another governing aspect of such a life is “whatever is lovely.” The word lovely means “lovable, agreeable, endearing.”
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