“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”—Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Logizesthe: To reckon inwardly, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate; decide, think; to compute; to take into account. The English words logic and logical are derived from the Greek root logi.
Here the apostle Paul begins his thought with the word “finally,” which is the same word used in 4:1, thus bringing to a conclusion his encouragement to “stand fast.” And here, he essentially harkens back to it by giving powerful instruction on how to stand fast: to meditate on, think deeply, and deliberate on all that is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and praiseworthy. He essentially helps them lay the foundation upon which to stand fast as believers. And this foundation is built in the name of Christ. You see, everything the apostle instructed them to meditate on can only truly be found in Jesus and His Word.
You see, in Jesus we find truth (John 14:6) and are set free by the truth (John 8:32). In Jesus, we see an undeniable and incomparable nobility and honor (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 25:31–40; James 2:7). In Jesus, we see the righteousness and justness of God (Isaiah 46:13; John 5:30; Romans 3:22, 10:4). In Jesus, we see purity and perfection (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:22).
In Jesus, we see all the loveliness and affection the Lord displayed for mankind (Matthew 9:36, 11:28–30, 14:14, 15:32; Luke 7:13; John 10:1–18; Romans 5:5–8; Hebrews 2:17). The word lovely (prosphilés) is an interesting term. It’s the only time this word is used in the New Testament. It means to be worthy of personal affection; to be dearly prized. This is beautiful because we know Jesus is the most precious, dearly prized, and is worthy of our love and affection. Despite our sinful nature and fallen state, He considered us worthy of His love and affection; He saw us as rare and beautiful treasures, to the point that He gave His life for us.
Finally, in Jesus we can experience all the excellence and grace of God Almighty (Hebrews 4:15, 7:26). Interestingly, with each quality listed (true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable), there seems to be reference to both an internal understanding and an external development. So, what Paul was doing here was giving us something that must be internalized and comprehended before it can be manifested and perfected.
1. Why do you believe Paul gave this instruction?
2. What are the influences that determine how you think and what you think about? What’s God’s view of those influences?