Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


Search HBS Bible Lessons

Friday, November 22, 2019

Philippians 4:10-13 (L 38)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                    Published: November 22, 2019

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
***********************************************************************************************
Welcome  everyone to HBS.
Let’s review.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  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” (4:8-9).

In Matthew 6:5-15 the Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples how to pray.  It’s not a prayer in and of itself it is Israel’s outline for prayer.  In Philippians 4:6-7 our Apostle Paul used a similar teaching aid when he outlined the manner in which the Believers in Philippi (and us today) are to pray.  He began by saying, “Be careful for nothing.”  They were not to worry about anything because God is in control (Romans 8:28-29).  Worry is an exercise that gains you nothing.  It not only adds unnecessary stress to one’s life and it distracts your attention from the things of God.  Paul then explained their prayers ought to be balanced:  “…but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  He then assured them God answers their prayers with the promise:  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds (how) through Christ Jesus.”

Peace with God” is one thing; “the peace of God” is another thing altogether.  To enjoy the latter, we must first experience the former, for the peace of God, ruling in our hearts, is the result of “peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul declared by divine inspiration that “Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification” and that “therefore, being justified by faith,” we, who once were at enmity with God, may enjoy “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 4:25, 5:1).  The result of “peace with God” is “the peace of God,” the peace that He gives to His own amid all of life’s troubles:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).

While only those who are at peace with God can and should know “the peace of God,” it does not follow, however, that all those who are at peace with God necessarily enjoy “the peace of God.”  This is because not every Believer follows Paul’s outline for prayer or bothers to pray at all.  They will only experience “the peace of God” when they put into practice Philippians 4:6:  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”

As we follow Paul’s prayer outline the promise which follows will be fulfilled.

Then, before Paul could say “Finally” and “think on these things,” (4:8-9) the Philippians needed to have the mind of Christ.  It’s highly unlikely they could or would think on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, etc. without embracing this mindset.  Paul goes on to say, “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, which is another way of saying, “Following my example:

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (Corinthians 11:1).

At the trail end of verse 4:9 Paul mentioned the God of peace.  We discussed the “peace with God,” and “the peace of God” recently, so what does the God of peace mean?  If we skip ahead to 4:11-12  we’ll find the answer to this question.  This is where Paul admitted he had learned to be content no matter what:

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

Having the mind of Christ, makes enables you to be content even in the midst of difficult times.  Paul wasn’t stymied by his circumstances or his surroundings, he practiced what he preached saying, “rejoice in the Lord alway” (in every way) in spite of his predicament.  Paul had learned to be content in any situation, so this is what “the God of peace shall be with you” means.
********
Please open your Bible at Philippians 4:10-13.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care for me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

After wrapping up his instructions on prayer, Paul begins a new topic.  In this section of Scripture he explains how and why the Believer ought to behave when they have all they need and when they do not.  He wanted these folks to learn by following his example, not because he was perfect, but because sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is by following a visual example. 

Back in the day when I taught the Bible in classrooms I learned from trial and error that people absorb information differently.  Some folks are auditory they’re able to learn by reading the material aloud, to themselves, or by discussing the topic in group.  Others are visual; they require teaching aids such as pictures, power point, slide shows and the like.  Then there are those who learn best by getting their hands dirty, so to speak.  This is known as kinesthetic learning or learning by doing.  It’ also true some people require more than one of these teaching aids to learn the material.  We know Paul, whether knowingly or unknowingly, utilized two of these teaching techniques.  The Philippians had either read this letter themselves, or heard it read aloud in their house church, and he urged them to follow his example which is certainly a visual aid (4:9).   

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly” (4:10a) -  Paul personalized this declaration when he said, “I.”  He is expressing his heartfelt gratitude for the Philippian’s gift, but he didn’t thank  them.  Paul’s gratefulness is addressed to the Lord because He is the source of the gift.  It came about because the Lord was able to work effectively in and through the saints in Philippi.  

Verse 4:10b:

“…that now at the last your care (concern) for me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Paul planted many churches but the assembly at Philippi was the only one that supported him financially.  He specifically mentioned this in 4:15-18.  Paul was imprisoned multiple times, so when he said, “So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;” (1:13) we know he was writing this letter while under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:17-31).  It stands to reason this was most likely a transitional period for Paul, that is, after he’d been falsely accused of being an insurrectionist, but before he stood trial before Nero.  During this period of time, Paul wrote his prison epistles, i.e. Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and of course Philippians (1 Corinthians 9:11-14; Galatians 6:6). 

We aren’t told how the Philippians became aware of Paul’s predicament in Rome.  But they demonstrated their concern (care) for his wellbeing by sending him a gift.  But here’s the thing, most people fail to understand the significance of that gift.  The Romans didn’t have prisons like the ones we know today.  Accused wealthy citizens were simply kept under house arrest, provided they behaved, until a trial could take place.  The poor generally found justice swift and usually fatal.  Outside of the cities, a villa might have three areas to keep slaves, one for those who were well behaved, one for those that were kept shackled, and one for those allowed some freedom of movement.  The actual prisons in Rome themselves were merely a place where the  condemned were held awaiting execution.  In addition, the prison system in Rome didn’t provide meals for their prisoner’s or any of the creature comforts.  This duty fell to their family members and friends, or else they would simply do without.  We know Paul wasn’t being held in the dungeon at this time.  He was chained to a Pretorian guard around the clock in a rented house.   Paul was a Roman citizen so he was better off than some others, but he still required help.  After learning about his situation, the Philippians sent Paul money that  could be used to pay for his basic needs.  But there was still a lot that Paul couldn’t do for himself, so the church also sent Epaphroditus to assist him (2:27-30). 

“…your care (concern) for me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Another word for “flourished” is revived.  It is a word applicable to plants and flowers, meaning to grow again; to flourish again; to spring up again.  The Philippians “lacked opportunity” or were hindered from helping Paul because of his situation and the great distance between them.  So, when their gift arrived in Rome it was as though their care for him had been revived, i.e. sprung up again.  

Verse 4:11.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

One dictionary defines contentment as: "The state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are. Contentment is a rare state of mind today.  In fact, based on my observations, people do not comprehend the value of contentment.  If they truly understood its worth, wouldn't they be doing all they could to obtain it and then retain it?  Thus, we live in a discontented culture.  I say this because it’s more common to find someone who is dissatisfied with his or her condition in life than not.  People are discontent with what they have, what they are missing in life, how they look, who they are married to, their vocation, their relatively new and fully operational smart phone, and their circumstances.  Paul demonstrated he is the polar opposite of that mental attitude.  For example, with Christmas Day almost on our doorstep I’m certain you know few, if any, people who have said, “I have all that I need.  Don’t buy me anything.  Fortunately, I do and Paul is one of them.  According to verse 4:17, Paul wanted the Philippians to understand although he was grateful for both their concern and their generosity, he did not want them to think he was expecting another gift, for he had learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. 

When Paul said, “I have learned” he implied there was a time in his life when he was not content.  He had come from a family that was well off financially, religiously, and socially prior to his conversion, which meant he was like so many other folks, Believers included, who equate contentment with the accumulation of stuff and monetary wealth tops the list.  But now, Paul considered all of his earthly gains as “dung” (3:4-12).  He had “learned” how to be “content in whatsoever state he found himself.  He had  learned contentment in this life wasn’t dependent upon his worldly assets or gains, but through Christ Jesus:  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (4:7). 

Verses 4:12-14.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.”

This is how Paul could confidently say that whether he was full or hungry he knew how to be content, whether he was free or in prison, he simply left it with the Lord.  True spiritual contentment is found in Christ for our sufficiency is Christ and Christ alone!.  Until we come to accept this truth we will be hopelessly searching for the same contentment Paul experienced.  That thought takes us to verse 4:13:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” – Paul means to say he is independent of his circumstances, i.e. he is content no matter what happens.  He knows God is able to move or remove whatever mountain that is confronting him, but if He does not Christ Jesus will provide the strength needed to withstand any and all of life’s difficulties.  

The number one thief of contentment is undesirable circumstances.  Paul said, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound :  The word abased means to "get along with humble means."  He knew how to do without food, clothing, shelter, or the basic human comforts without murmuring or complaining.  He also knew how to abound which means: "to have more than enough or to be prosperous.  It requires as much grace to maintain the right mental attitude in prosperity as it does in adversity, perhaps more.  Adversity in and of itself does something to keep the mind in the right state; prosperity does nothing.  

I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” -  the phrase “I am instructed” means Paul is well acquainted with the lessons learned from his adverse situations because he went through each and every one.  The word “full” means to have plenty to eat, and the word “hungry” means to go without food.  Plainly said, Paul was able to be abased without feeling anxiety, resentment, or worry.  He suffered the need of clothing, food, safety, shelter, etc. without murmuring or complaining.  This peace, this state of mind, does not come naturally folks it has to be learned.  Paul said, “I have learned” through life’s experiences, i.e. every kind of trial and tribulation known to man and yet he was unaffected by them.  Negative situations didn’t produce anger or bitterness in him, instead, Paul “rejoiced in the Lord alway.”

Paul wasn’t a victim of his circumstances because he learned to take on an eternal perspective.  He focused not on temporal things and the struggles of life, but on his eternal rewards (2 Timothy 4:8).

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).

If our Apostle Paul could view his afflictions as light (2 Corinthians 4:23-28), what is this saying to every Believer in Christ Jesus?  It means you and I are more than the sum of our fears and woes.   In light of eternity, it means our physical adversities are momentary and temporal, but the service we do as the Lord’s ambassadors here on earth “worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory which is eternal. 

(Please continue to look for future publications)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved












































Thursday, November 14, 2019

Philippians 4:8-9 (L 37)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                    Published: November 14, 2019

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

***********************************************************************************************

Welcome back to HBS.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

In the last lesson we took a good long look at Paul’s outline on prayer noting it is not to be combined with the Lord’s instructions on prayer found in the O.T.  We also note Paul emphasized giving thanks to God instead of just rattling off a list of things you want Him to do for you.  Although there’s nothing wrong with asking God for a divine favor, in verse 4:6 Paul essentially said the Believers’ prayer life should be balanced, i.e. thanksgiving, and then “let your requests be made known unto God.”

My parents taught me to say, “please and thank you.”  I seldom hear anyone say please and thank you; makes me wonder if parents are teaching children to appreciate things. Speaking from personal experience their emphasis appears to be on obtaining more stuff instead of cherishing what they have.  This describes the nation of Israel to a “T.”  Despite the faithfulness and goodness of the LORD God the Israelites were an ungrateful bunch (Numbers 11).  That’s a bad habit Paul doesn’t want the Philippians (and us) to imitate.  So, he emphasized the need to count our blessings and give thanks to God for each and every one:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, And into his courts with praise: Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; And his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).

Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Paul then assured these Believers God answers every prayer request but not in the way most people think.  Instead of giving us whatsoever we ask for in Jesus’ name, Paul said, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Nearly every letter Paul wrote begins with the phrase “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  According to the Bible, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” is the harmony and calmness of body, mind, and spirit that supersedes our earthly circumstances.  Throughout scripture we find peace described as a blessing from God:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men” (Luke 2:10-14).

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

I also mentioned the peace of God is not automatic it’s a process.  The more you know God’s will, dispensationaly speaking, the more God is able to work in you; the more you allow God to work in and through you, the more peace of God you’ll experience.

********
Open your Bible at Philippians 4:8-9.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  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.

As Paul prepares to close this letter to the Philippians he placed special emphasis on the Believer’s responsibility before God.  In the previous lesson, we established these saints were not to occupy themselves with worrying about things that were beyond their control.  This would only serve to draw their attention away from the things of God.  They were to rest in the fact that God is in control of all things (Romans 8:28-29). 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (4:7).

Here Paul assured them the peace of God would not only be with them, He would also guard their hearts and minds.  But to fully realize this promise they needed to align their thought life with the Word of God, and continue practicing the lessons they had learned from observing the life of Paul.  In other words, “keep thinking on these things – keep practicing these things.”

The word “Finally” connects verses 4:6-9.  Verses 4:6-7 explain how to obtain the peace of God.  Verses 4:8-9 describes how to keep it.  In order to hold onto the peace of God, the Believer must occupy their hearts and minds with the things Paul lists in 4:8, and then “do” the things he wrote down in 4:9. 

Think on these things” at the end of verse 4:8 means “take into account, reflect upon, and then allow those things to shape your conduct.”  So Believers are to reflect upon and take into account” whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,” so that they might “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1b) by allowing these things to shape their thought life and consequently their conduct.

Proverbs 23:7 teaches as a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  This verse reminds me of something my mother said one afternoon after I was caught in a lie.  She said,  Where your mind goes, your body follows.”  Another way of saying this is, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character.”  Our actions, habits, and character stem from our thinking.  In order for us to have godly actions, habits, and character, we must have the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) and then allow God’s Word to live in us so it will guide our thoughts.  Plainly said, we need to renew our minds because people usually don’t think this way.    

After their conversion the Believer should begin to think and act differently because they now view everything in accordance with God’s will, dispensationaly speaking. 

The Believers at Philippi were carnally minded, so they did not have the mind of Christ.  So, before Paul could say, “Finally,” and “think on these things” the Philippians had to first “Put on Christ,” (Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27), that is, have the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:1-5). 

In verse 4:8 Paul listed eight things that contribute to a Christ-like thought life.  Note he did not mention one negative thought they were to avoid.  Instead, he stressed only the things that edify the Believer, that is, enrich their spiritual walk and provide a godly mindset.  You see, unless they “have the mind of Christ” it’s unlikely they will experience what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, etc. and act accordingly.    

The first item the Believer is to think on is “whatsoever things are true.”  Have you heard someone say, “That may be true for you, but not for me” or  There are no absolutes.”  I’m not only hearing this mindset more and more I’m seeing it everywhere I turn.  This is relativism in case you’re unaware and it’s invading our economy, our government, our judicial system, our society, our schools, our homes, and the church.  Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual.  This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual.  However, abandoning what is true does not nullify it.   If one of these folks step off of a ten-story building they will quickly realize gravity is an absolute.  Our society cannot flourish nor survive in an environment where everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes, where the situation determines moral truth and lying and cheating are okay as long as you don't get caught.  The Bible referred to this mindset as anarchy:

And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:214-25).

People have banned the Bible, God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Christianity in general.  In doing so, our diverse society seeks to avoid the idea that there is a right and wrong and everyone is accountable for their behavior.  This is lawlessness pure and simple.

Our Lord and Savior said, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6); and “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth(John 17:17).  

Truth exists but few people are willing to search for it.  During a Bible class I was asked “How old is the universe?”  I said, “According to the Bible, it’s about six thousand years old, give or take.”  This statement was met with rancorous laughter and a few negative comments about the accuracy of the Bible.  These people were defending science instead of God’s Word.  They place their faith in what they can see and understand.  Science is one example.  The Church of Scientology is one of the fastest growing churches today.  They teach no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith.  That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true.  That being said, even though a scientist said the universe has been in existence for billions of years, and man evolved from a chemical slime pit in the dateless past, the Scriptures clearly teach man was created by God in the beginning and that about six thousand years ago (Genesis 1:26-27).   

Staying on the subject of what is false, many religions today teach your salvation can be lost, water baptism not only saves you it removes your sin, while others teach God alone chooses who He will save.  But if you are well grounded in the truth an error becomes obvious.  A straight line always exposes a crooked line.  This is why we are “to think on whatsoever things are true” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Our Apostle Paul wanted the Philippians (and us) to know and understand “the truth is in Jesus.”  Therefore, when Paul said, “to think on whatsoever things are true” he means in contrast to that which is false, and walk accordingly.    

In the previous lesson I mentioned it was Paul who wrote: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning.”  Using the Scriptures then, I will illustrate what he had in mind when he said, “…whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Think on whatsoever things are honest expresses the idea of being admired and respected for your character or your integrity:

Please turn to Daniel 6:1-4.  When King Darius placed Daniel over his kingdom the presidents and princes in the king’s court were filled with jealousy.  Hoping to find fault with Daniel in his execution of the affairs of state they secretly spied on him.  When the report came back from those who observed Daniel, it was said, “they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.  The next time a dishonest thought crosses your mind  remember Daniel, who was a man of impeccable character. 

Think on whatsoever things are just or right.  Now, turn to I Samuel 26:1-12 please.  While King Saul was hunting David in the wilderness to kill him, David came upon Saul and his men who were sound asleep.  Abishai who was with David that evening said: “God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear,” but David instructed Abishai to “Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?”  David did what was right in God’s sight.  In spite of Saul’s failures, he was still the Lord’s anointed; consequently, if Saul died it would have to be by God’s hand and not David’s.  So, I ask you, when you completed last year’s tax return, did you falsify the document by giving inaccurate financial data?   If you did, God considers that unjust.    

Think on whatsoever things are pure or free from moral defilement.  Please turn to Genesis 39:9.  Not long after Joseph was given charge over Potiphar’s household and business affairs, his wife tried to entice Joseph into an illicit affair.  He responded to her unwanted advances in the following manner:  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? The next time you are tempted to commit an immoral act keep yourself pure - flee from all forms of sexual immorality, for this is the will of God (I Thessalonians 4:3). 

Think on whatsoever things are lovely means to be amiable, well pleasing.  Please turn to Acts 4:36-37.   You probably know at least one Believer who is a joy to be around. You’ve never heard them say an unkind word and they always seem to have a word of encouragement to share with others.  This describes Barnabas, “the son of consolation.  When John Mark (a relative of Barnabas) stumbled in the faith, and was rebuked by the Apostle Paul, it was Barnabas who wanted to give him a second chance.  Because of his unwavering support John Mark regained his spiritual footing (2 Timothy 4:11).  So the next time you have a critical thought remember Barnabas it may keep you from saying or doing something you’ll later regret.    

Think on whatsoever things are of good report, means to be understood as being well-spoken of or reputable.  Turn to Acts 6:3 please.  You will recall when there arose a dispute over the distribution of food after Pentecost Peter addressed the brethren accordingly:  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.  So seven men were selected one of which was Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.”  Stephen had proven himself to be both faithful and dependable, so he was chosen.  It literally takes years to establish a good reputation, but only a moment in time to destroy it.  If your pastor was looking for someone to fill a position of leadership would your name be found on the list of those who are of good report

“If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Paul concludes this passage of scripture saying, “if there be any virtue” or moral excellence, and as we have seen above there is, so take note of them.  If there be any praise” it should be given to God, and there is, so think on these things and you will be on your way to having a godly mindset.  Please turn to 2 Corinthians and we’ll drop in at 10:3: 

“ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Paul said, “we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  Herein lies the key to spiritual victory.   Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me (our Apostle Paul), do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (4:9).  What things had these Believers at Philippi learned from the apostle?  I’m glad you asked.  They had “learned” the “Revelation of the mystery” from him and all that it entails.  They understood they were members of the Body of Christ, and blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.  Paul had effectively communicated to them how Christ is carrying out His heavenly ministry today, and that they were the recipients of a heavenly hope and calling.  In addition, they also “received” the teachings of grace as their own.  Because they received this knowledge from Paul they were able to defend the gospel of grace.  It’s one thing to say you’re aware of God’s grace.  It is a completely different matter to fully accept it and stand for it uncompromisingly.  The saints at Philippi were fully committed to Paul’s apostleship and message, which God expects every person to embrace in the Age of Grace.  

The Philippians had “heard” the gospel of the grace of God, not secondhand mind you, but directly from Paul himself during his initial visit to Philippi (Acts 16).  He preached Jesus Christ to them according to the revelation of the Mystery (Rom. 16:25).  They had heard him proclaim the secret of the gospel, of how God was in Christ at Calvary reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19).  Now they were sharing the good news that Christ died for the sins of all with those who needed to hear it.  Furthermore, they had “seen” firsthand how Paul handled adversity in a Christ-like manner.  He didn’t lash out in a tirade at his persecutors when he was beaten unmercifully.  Nor did he curse the Philippian jailor when he threw him into the inner prison and put his feet in stocks.  Instead, he prayed and sang songs of praise to God, which so moved the jailor that he trusted Christ immediately after the earthquake took place (Acts 16:19-31). 

It is far more beneficial for a son to see his father living for the Lord, than to hand him a list of do’s and don’ts. You see, Paul not only taught these things, he lived them.  With this in mind, the apostle challenges these saints in Christ to “do” these things, in the sense of performing them repeatedly, to which he adds: “And the God of peace shall be with you.”  This encouragement is as relevant today as when Paul first gave it. 

(Please continue to look for future publications)

© Copyright 011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved








Thursday, November 7, 2019

Philippians 4:6-7 (L 36)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                   Published: November 7, 2019

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

***********************************************************************************************

Welcome back to HBS

To keep from aggravating my left arm and hand I’ve decided to skip the lesson review.  I do suggest you refresh your minds by reading the last lesson before starting this one.

********

Please open your Bible at Philippians 4:4-7.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice (4:4) - Paul did not say “rejoice always” he said “Rejoice alway This means continually without variation, or in every way.  Said differently, “Believers rejoice continually, in every way, whether things are going their way or not.”  It’s as though Paul considered the hard times in his life, past, present, and future and in spite of them said, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”  Here Paul is counting his blessings and is unable to contain his joy. 

I heard a pastor compare the Believer’s life to a roller coaster ride complete with ups and downs, twists and turns, and few level places.  We’re human so there will be times when we act as humans.  We’re going to experience disappointment, distress, pain, rejection, sorrow, etc., so we may not feel like “rejoicing always.”  However, there’s no instruction here from Paul to put on sackcloth and ashes and glory in your suffering.  Many people do.  One of the most loaded questions in the English language is “How are you?”  You might want to prepare yourself for their answer, which could begin with them saying, “You have no idea what I’m dealing with…”  These people glory in their suffering, when they ought to be glorying in God.  They ought to be counting their blessings instead of their sorrows. 

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be happy.  However, happiness is often determined by what is happening in our lives, so this emotion is fleeting; it comes and goes like the tide.  But true joy is found only in the Lord.  It is the product of an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ; a relationship that begins with believing Paul’s gospel of grace (Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:11-20; 2 Timothy 2:8). 

Therefore, Believers rejoice alway because of Christ Jesus’ great love for us (Romans 5:8); because we have redemption through Christ Jesus’ shed blood and the forgiveness of all our sin (Ephesians 1:7); and because we’re justified freely by His grace for we are saved by grace through faith (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8-9).  For these reasons, and others, Paul emphasized the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of our joy (Psalm 43:4; Romans 5:11).    

Verse 5a:

“Let your moderation be known unto all men...”  

The word “moderation” means graciousness; practicing restraint in all things, including one’s speech.  Verse 4:5a confirms the fact some of the people in the church were at odds with each other; their discussions had become heated arguments and tempers were flaring.  It’s a well-known fact personality conflicts and disagreements about what the Bible says or doesn’t say are reasons why a once healthy church becomes unhealthy and eventually splits apart.  So, Paul’s purpose in saying, “Let your moderation be known unto all men” was twofold.  First, he intended for it to defuse the unstable situation in Philippi.  If those involved in the dispute would simply choose to practice graciousness and restraint in all things, the instability in this assembly could be managed in a Christ-like manner: 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any  fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies (and there is), Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (2:1-4).

Second, this assembly, whether knowingly or unknowingly, was tarnishing their reputation before the unsaved world, which, up until now had been commendable (4:1).  Paul wanted them to understand their ill behavior was not only producing anxiety and confusion in the church it had an adverse effect on the gospel and the unsaved people in their community.  This is why Paul said, “Let your moderation be known unto all men” and not just your brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. 

He cited the reason for this in 4:5b saying,  The Lord is at hand.” 


In the O.T., which includes the 4 gospels, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ preached “the gospel of the kingdom” saying, “Repent for the kingdom is at hand” (Matthew 3:1, 4:17).  Why?  The Messiah (their king) was on scene and prepared to usher in the prophesied earthly kingdom (Romans 15:8).  But first the Israelites had to go through a time of cleansing.  They had to experience a seven-year period of time known as Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7); Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:20-25); the Tribulation (Ezekiel 22:17-22). 

Paul’s not talking about such things.  The Church isn’t looking forward to the kingdom of God.  It is looking expectedly for the return of the Lord in the clouds, an event the Body of Christ recognizes as the Rapture.  This Church event can be viewed as a rescue operation, while the Tribulation is God pouring out His righteous wrath upon Israel and a Jesus hating world (1 Corinthians 15:50-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10).  So, when Paul said, “Let your moderation be known (visible) unto all men.  The Lord is at hand“ he was in effect saying, “Live your life as though Christ Jesus’ might return this very day.”  
Verse 4:6-7:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Be careful for nothing – this is another way of saying We walk by faith not by sight.” Walking by faith essentially means “Worry about nothing.  You see, faith is not about things turning out the way we want, faith is about being content no matter how things turn out.  This reminds me of something Paul said in 4:10-12:

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

We know God is able, but even if He doesn’t improve our situation we still walk by faith not by sight.  Seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing!

Verse 4:6b:

“…but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Permit me to begin our study of this section of scripture by saying it’s okay to mix some things together such as Chex Mix, corn beef hash, peanuts, tossed salad, and scrambled eggs; however, God commanded the Believer to study their Bible using right division.  Ergo, we are not to mix the scriptures together (2 Timothy 2:15).  Case in point, Paul’s instructions on prayer found in 4:6-7 are often mixed together with the Lord’s directions on prayer found in the O.T.  Because of this many people have misconceptions and unrealistic expectations about prayer.  I’ll share two personal examples with you.  Last week I was viewing the postings on my Facebook page when I came across a “Chain Prayer.”  It said, “Pray this prayer, repost this message, and you will receive a miracle within the hour.”  Then recently, another Facebook friend declared, “Whatever you need ask of God know He will answer.  He cited Isaiah 65:24 as proof of this. 

I ask you are these prayers and the petitioner’s expectations valid?  Most people say “Yes,” but this is because of how they were taught to pray and I’m including myself. The churches I partnered with in the past used several Bible verses from the O.T. to teach people how to pray.  I will take you to three verses that are widely used to show you what I mean. 

We begin with Matthew 21:22.  Here the Lord is teaching His disciples how to pray:

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

What does “all” mean?  It means nothing omitted, right?  People can ask God for anything and if they believe they will receive.

Now please turn to Matthew 7:7; once again this is the Lord speaking:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

Here Jesus said, “ask, seek, knock, and it shall be opened to you.” 

Our last stop is the Lord’s instructions on prayer found in John 14:12-14:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (See Matthew 6:27-33)

According to these Bible verses, if you “Ask God for anything, in Jesus’ name, He will do it!” 

Ask any thing in my name” means “pray in Jesus’ name.”   This verse was utilized to teach us to end our prayers saying, “in Jesus’ name.”  If we ask in Jesus’ name, then He will do it.  So, we wait for God to make it happen, but there’s a catch.  We were taught God answers prayer the same way a parent responds to their child’s request.  They can say “Yes,” “No,” or “Not right now.”  Isn’t this a contradiction?  I prayed in Jesus name and now I’m told it might not happen.  

That thought serves to take us to Paul statement in Romans 8:26: 

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” 

Another way of saying this is, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to pray.”  The phrase “Ask in Jesus’ name” means pray in accordance with His will.  To do that we need to determine what His will is in the Dispensation of Grace.  The fallacies many people have regarding prayer can be attributed to their ignorance of God’s character and a lack of understanding as to why he deals differently with the nation of Israel than He does the Body of Christ.  In other words, people are over the place regarding their beliefs about prayer because they do not know God, dispensationaly speaking. 

Not long ago I mentioned Jesus (the promised Messiah) came to the nation of Israel preaching “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand,” and He taught the twelve to preach this same message but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew  10:5-6).  So the Bible verses re: prayer we just looked at were written to and for the whole house of Israel; gentiles were excluded by the Lord Himself.  

Throughout the O.T. the Lord God taught the nation of Israel to depend on Him for their needs.  We find evidence of this in their exodus from Egypt and their salvation from Pharaoh’s army through the Red Sea experience.  Then there was the manna from heaven, quail when they complained about not having meat to eat, and when they complained about being thirsty God provided water gushing from the rock and so on, etc.  He even fought their battles for them.  It was Abraham who referred to the LORD God as Jehovah Jireh meaning God will provide (Genesis 22).  People wrongly borrow this term today to support their notions about prayer saying, “Ask whatsoever you want, in Jesus’ name, and God will provide.”  But this comes with a disclaimer.  According to them (not the Bible), if you do not receive what you asked for such as winning the state lottery, getting a new job, a new car, a new home, or whatever it’s because you didn’t have enough faith – keep trying.  Those who preach the false prosperity gospel teach this message, however, the only people getting rich are the people behind the pulpit. 

I also mentioned before Israel could enter into their promised earthly kingdom they had to go through the Tribulation period.  They’ll come a time when the Jews will not be able to buy and sell unless they accept “the mark of the beast.”  If they identify with the beast, their names will be blotted out from the book of life.  There’s no do-overs.  So, once again, during the Tribulation Israel will be dependent on the goodness of God for their needs.  Therefore, in keeping with the context, those Bible verses we reviewed in Matthew and John were examples of Jesus preparing the whole house of Israel for the time of Jacob’s trouble.    

I hope you’re beginning to understand Jesus Christ’s purpose and plan for prayer in the O.T.  Those instructions were for the nation of Israel; they have nothing to do with the Body of Christ today.  Those things written in time past are for our learning:    

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (not for our doctrine today), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).  

Here Paul is referring to the O.T. scriptures that were “written aforetime,” or in time past.  
The Bible as we know it today did not exist.  God ushered in the Dispensation of Grace with the calling of Saul of Tarsus; he is the one and only apostle to the gentiles (Acts 9; Romans 1:1).  He is also the first person baptized into the Body of Christ; therefore he is our pattern (example) to imitate (1 Timothy 1:12-16). 

Believer’s today don’t follow Israel’s marching orders we follow the church doctrines related to the “revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25-26).  So it stands to reason our motivation for praying today is understanding God dispensationaly.  Religion proudly states, “God does not change;” and “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”(Hebrews 13:8), and I agree.  God does not change, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, however, the manner in which God deals with mankind does change; this is the essence of dispensational teaching (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:1, 3:2; Colossians 1:25). 

4:6:  

“Be careful (worry) about nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (4:6).

While religion teaches people to pray for “Whatsoever their heart desires and if they believe they will receive,” Paul’s directions on prayer are noticeably different.  He has outlined the process of prayer for every Believer in 4:6, and it begins with “Be careful for nothing,” that is, don’t worry about a thing.  After that command, he said, “…but in every thing by prayer and supplication with (what) thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

Paul’s emphasized thanksgiving unto God over our prayer and supplication, so the central theme of our prayers today is thanksgiving or praying with a thankful heart.  I refer to this as counting your blessings:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:15-17, 4:2).

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I compile a list of the things I am grateful for and mentally check them off one by one as I give thanks to God.  This exercise taught me to number my blessings both physical and spiritual.  So, Paul is not saying you cannot ask something of God.  He is saying the focus of your prayers ought to be thanksgiving.  You see, giving thanks to the Father, or having a life characterized by a thankful heart; is the acknowledgement and appreciation of God’s person, His magnificent grace, and sovereign work in one’s life, i.e. their present sanctification.    

God would have us pray about everything, whether it is spiritual or physical in nature.  In view of the fact God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies today, it stands to reason our prayer life should primarily focus on spiritual things, such as praying for a loved one’s salvation, a fuller understanding of the Scriptures, a knowledge of God’s will, dispensationaly speaking, wisdom, and so on.   

Here again, however, we must keep in mind Paul said pray about everything not just spiritual things.  From this we understand God would have the Believer maintain a proper balance.  According to the Bible, there’s nothing wrong with personal prayer requests.  Our Apostle Paul prayed about his “Thorn in the flesh,” asking God three times to remove it (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  By the way God did not remove it.  Prior to his incarceration in Caesarea, Paul requested he might have a “prosperous journey to Rome; that is, free from hardship (Romans 1:9-10).  Paul also said we are to pray for people who are placed in position of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).   

Paul instructed us not to be an ungrateful people, as Israel was in time past; therefore, we are to give thanks to God, and according to the prayer process Paul laid out for us, our thanksgiving ought to precede our practical prayer requests.  We should also pray about the circumstances in which we might find ourselves.  For instance, Paul coveted the prayers of the saints at Philippi that he would soon be delivered from his prison cell in Rome (Philippians 1:19).  Paul wrote something similar to Philemon: “But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you” (Philemon 1:22).

Paul also said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!  This doesn’t mean pray every minute of the day.  This can be compared to someone who coughs intermittently or in intervals due to an illness.  They don’t cough audibly all the time, but the tendency to cough is ever present.  So too with the Believer.  They ought to maintain a prayerful attitude even though they’re not actively engaged in prayer at the moment.   

While we’re still on the subject of prayer, it doesn’t matter where you happen to be when you pray.  I pray in my car when the mood hits me and in this area of Florida that’s not a bad idea.  You don’t have to wait until you’re in a church building to pray.  In addition, your prayer is not regulated to specific times of the day.  Paul does not mention any prayer position, such as, kneeling or lying prone face down on the floor.  There’s also no need be long-winded.  Just because you have command of the English language doesn’t mean you should try to impress God with the overuse of it.   What’s more, we can pray alone or with other people, which debunks religion’s notion that “where two or three gather together in my name there I am.” (Matthew 18:20).  Every Believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and Christ Jesus dwells within them (Romans 8:10-11; Galatians 2:20).  He’s with us 24/7/365 not just when we gather to pray.  

Truth be told, many people only pray when they want something from God.  They rarely, if ever, contact Him just to say thanks.  These folks in effect treat God as though He operated a fire station and is on call 24/7.   When trouble hits, then they pray for relief.  That situation helps to define what prayer is.  It’s asking God for a favor.  An earnest prayer on the other hand, such as, praying for someone’s salvation or for a loved one in uniform who is currently standing in harm’s way overseas is referred to as supplication.  It is seeking God’s face because you bear a heavy burden.  But no matter what your prayer is it ought to be preceded with thanksgiving. 

4:7:

“…And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

A few Christians I know have told me they don’t pray anymore and that’s because God doesn’t answer their prayers.  These folks and others are obviously unaware of Paul’s guidelines on prayer.  We don’t go to God in prayer asking for our heart’s desires, in Jesus’ name, and then wait to receive it.  In this dispensation in which we all live, Paul said God answers every prayer with: “the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

What is the peace of God and is it different than peace with God?  Some folks say they are one and the same, so we need to take a look at this.  Please turn to Romans 5:1-2.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

According to this scripture passage, something happened before the saved individual had peace with God or was no longer His enemy (Romans 5:8).  This verse says they were justified by faith.   This is a legal term meaning, “Just as though you never sinned.” Your slate is wiped clean by God.  But there’s more.  The Believer now has by faith access into this grace wherein we stand…  Access to what?  Access to every blessing that flows from God’s grace, including direct access to the throne room of God through prayer.  This is one of the greatest privileges the Believer has.  

So then, every true Believer has peace with God but what about the peace of God?  Go to Romans 8:5-6:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and (what) peace.

Who is Paul writing to here?  For those of you who do not know Paul only writes to Believers.  Most people believe Paul wrote Romans while in Corinth, Greece, so from that up close and personal experience when he mentioned those folks who were carnally minded he’s referring to the Believers in Corinth:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

I took y’all down that brief rabbit trail to demonstrate The Corinthian believers as well as the saints in Philippi were not perfect.  And neither are we.  We hardly live the  perfect life, if we’re being honest.  So not every Believer is going to experience the peace of God, and that’s because our focus is on things other than the things of God.  Put another way we are not spiritually minded 24 hours a day.  So, if you do not have the peace of God it is because you are carnally minded or better said, “You don’t have the mind of Christ.”  

The peace of God is best described as a process.  The more you know God’s will, dispensationaly speaking, the more God is able to work in you.  The more you allow God to work in you and through you, the more peace of God you’ll experience.  That comment takes us back to what Paul wrote in Romans 5:2 regarding “access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.”  Not every Believer takes advantage of their ability to communicate with God through prayer.  Those that do are able to experience God’s answer to their prayers, which is, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Let’s look at Romans 8:27-28:

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Here, once again, Paul speaks of God’s will re: prayer; not our will.  Most understand this peace to be a tranquil life where they “lie down in green pastures” and the Lord leads them “beside the still waters” as the Psalmist says.  Paul, however, is speaking about the peace of God in the midst of harsh times.  It is resting in the fact that God is sovereign and is in control of all things.  Having this peace is looking beyond the bad times and the sad times, knowing that all things work together for good to them love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. This is the peace of God which passeth all understanding…”

(Please continue to look for future publications)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved