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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

Whenever we see a “grocery list” of verbs like this, there is a temptation to slide over them as so much verbiage. However, God does not waste words when He writes Scripture.

“Learned” and “received” form a pair. This is instruction in doctrine and practice.

The words “heard” and “saw” also form a pair. These are the things the Philippians learned by observing Paul’s example.

“the things which you learned and received”

The Philippians received a body of truth from the apostle while he was in Philippi. That truth was received in two ways. First, it was “learned.”

“Learned” is Paul’s personal instruction. The word “learned” means to receive from a person. This is instruction of formal content. This word implies that a person with authority is the teacher. The authority is in what they know.

These are the things that the Philippians learned from the lips of Paul. Teaching is foundational to Christian living. We cannot experience the Christian life properly without structure or belief. We cannot apply what we do not know.

In this word Paul gathered up everything he had taught them while in Philippi. God expects us to sit under the formal teaching of His Word. It is not enough to study the Bible for ourselves.

If everything we learn from our pastor goes in one ear and out the other, we cannot practice God’s Word. At the point we need to apply it, it is not in our mind. How can we apply what we do not know? If we try to experience Christianity without the structure of God’s Word in our minds, we will blow with every wind of doctrine. Instability, insecurity, fear, and doubt will result. The mind must expose itself to the exposition of the Word of God.

Principle:

Christian living begins with knowledge of the principles of God’s Word.

Application:

We cannot form principles of God’s Word without knowledge of the Bible. God’s design for forming these principles is by the pastor-teacher formally teaching God’s Word in the local assembly. Will you commit to learning the Word of God in church? The pastor has the time and giftedness to study the Bible. Most lay people do not have time to study the Bible the way the pastor can. Accepting the pastor’s authority does not infer he can make no mistakes. It does assume that he is a serious Bible student. Do you come to church with the attitude of accepting the authority of the pastor-teacher?

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