P. 1
Phil 4 7

Phil 4 7

|Views: 4|Likes:
Published by Lanny Carpenter

More info:

Published by: Lanny Carpenter on Dec 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Stability in An Unstable World Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your

hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When Paul penned the letter to the church at Philippi, it must be remembered that he was not at ease somewhere and writing in complete freedom. Rather, Paul was in imprisoned in Rome, although not the Mamertine Prison he was in when he wrote 2 Timothy. It seems best to place this letter during his house arrest in Rome as recorded in Acts 28:14–31. The primary purpose of the letter was to thank the Christians in Philippi for the gift they sent to him when they heard he was detained in Rome. He takes the opportunity in this letter to encourage their faithfulness amidst persecution and to exhort them concerning various aspects of the Christian life. Nestled among these exhortations is the promise of peace. In Philippians 4:6, Paul instructed the Philippians to “stop being anxious,” the correct translation of a prohibition that is in the present active imperative form. This implies that they were already giving in to fear and fretting about their current situation. He then commands them to place their worries and fears in the hands of their God through the medium of prayer. At this point, he gives them a reason why he can enjoin them to pray and not worry. Paul informs his friends that the reason behind his command was that when they pray, God supplies peace. This peace is not the general use of the word, which implies absence of war, nor is it solely the reconciliation of man to God as Paul uses it in Romans. Rather, it is the dependent relationship on God through prayer that brings a settling of the mind, or tranquility. Commentator Adam Clarke refers to it as “That harmonizing of all passions and appetites which is produced by the Holy Spirit, and arises from a sense of pardon and the favor of God.”

He further depicts this peace as “surpassing or excelling” over all understanding. The Greek word speaks of superiority and excellence. The peace God gives is greater than any the world can offer. Jesus said as much when He told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). The world can only hope and wish for true peace, while God gives a better and greater peace than could be imagined. The peace of which Paul speaks he describes in greater detail as to its function. The KJV renders it “shall keep your hearts and minds” while the NIV more correctly translates “will guard your hearts and your minds.” The word translated “guard” is a military term, and carries the idea of “to garrison or to mount guard as a sentinel.” One wonders if Paul, cognizant of his own situation, used his circumstances to illustrate the point he is making to his readers. The circumstances of our world today can certainly cause us much distress and anxiety. Our times assault our heart and mind, assailing them with doubt, fear, and worry. It is time for us to cease our worry, to “Cast all [our] anxiety on him because he cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7). That care translates into a garrisoning of our heart and mind, preserving them from distressful anxiety. Our great God would have us depend on Him rather than to be defeated by worry. We must place our faith in the only One who can give us stability in an unstable world.

Lanny Carpenter

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->