Philippians

(Warren E. Berkley)

Phil. 4:9

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Who wrote this? The apostle Paul wrote this to the church at Philippi. I cannot write such a statement. I’m not an apostle. I can report what the apostles said and follow it myself and urge hearers and readers to do so. But I cannot write something with the same authority as apostles of Christ. Jesus gave to the apostles the Holy Spirit, to guide them in what they said and wrote (see the gospel of John, chapters 14-16 and Acts 2:1-4; Acts 26:15-18; Rom. 1:1). The apostle Paul was authorized to say: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.”

What promise is extended? “… and the God of peace will be with you.” Isn’t that what we all want? We want a relationship with God. We are able to have that fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. This is what we want in this life and as we face the next. We want the God of peace to be with us.

What does this passage say is necessary to have the God of peace with us? That we follow the teachings given through the apostles! God gave a pattern through these men. The pattern for individual, domestic and collective action wasn’t revealed simply for our learning and admiration. But for our practice. “…practice these things.”

So, if you want the God of peace to be with you, get busy. Open your New Testament. Read about Jesus Christ, learn who He is and respond to Him (the activity of faith). Then, after being baptized into Christ, do what the apostles said. Be a part of a church that follows apostolic teaching. Do this diligently and with sincerity of heart, why? So that the God of peace will be with you.

Yes, it is that simple.

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

{Source – Paul Earnhart, Christianity Magazine, 1985}

In this last age of human history God has given to us, not by prophets but by His own Son, a pattern of truth which is calculated not only to redeem the souls of lost men but to govern their life and service as His people. It was no accident that disciples of the Lord gathered themselves together in local congregations called churches (1 Corinthians 11:16; Romans 16:16) or that they were alike in their forms of worship and organization (Hebrews 10:24–25; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1–2; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:19). The Savior had delivered all truth to the apostles (John 16:13); the apostles had taught it (Acts 20:26–27) and the church had followed it (2:42). The apostles did not vary their teaching according to their mood or the desires of their hearers but, guided by the Holy Spirit, they taught the same thing “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17; 7:17). Paul speaks of the form or pattern of this teaching (Romans 6:17) and urges Timothy to “hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me” (2 Timothy 1:13) and to commit them to other faithful men (2:2). When men or churches veered from that pattern they were reproved and called to repentance (Revelation 2:1–5, 14–16; 3:1–3).[1]


[1] Earnhart, P. (1985). Restoring New Testament Churches. (E. Harrell, Ed.)Christianity Magazine, 2(12), 12.

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