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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

 

“Let us walk by the same rule”

The word “walk” connotes the idea of walking in rows or ranks. The idea is to walk orderly, walk according to a rule or order. This word was used in the military sense of walking in ranks—walk in line, march in battle order. The idea for the Christian is that he is to walk according to the principles of a system—the Word of God. We are to keep in step with the Word.

The “same rule” is the rule set forth in verse 14: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The word “rule” means standard. A standard is the instrument of measurement. The Bible is our instrument that measures the principles of the Christian life. We walk in rank according to the standard of the Bible. The Bible is the means of our walk. It is the instrument of progress in the Christian life. Do we hold to the standard, keeping our life ambition in focus?

“Let us be of the same mind”

“Let us” occurs once in verse 15 and twice in verse 16. All three “let us” challenges go back to “I press toward the goal (v.14).” If we do not keep pressing toward the goal of the upward call, a static ineptness will creep into our spiritual lives. If we stay static long enough, we will stagnate. If we stagnate too long, spiritual dry rot will eat away at the core of our spiritual strength.

Paul again challenged the Philippians to hold an “attitude.” The Bible is the absolute system of measurement for the Christian life. If there is a conflict between how I feel and what the Bible says, the Bible is always right.

An absolute criterion enables us to have confidence in life. We cannot have full confidence without absolute truth. There is a standardization of all spiritual truth. Our society is known for its many attempts at standardizing everything. This is an attempt to get a fixed criterion by which other things are measured against.

Our fixed criterion is the Word. Anything that comes from God is absolute. We look askance upon anything absolute today. We live in a relativistic society. Absolute truth “feels” wrong because everything in our society assaults it. Many people are dogmatic about things they do not understand. Others are hazy about things they should understand. Both are tragic.

PRINCIPLE: 

The Word of God is the standard for forming proper attitudes.

APPLICATION: 

If we do not continue to grow, we will develop a case of arrested spiritual development. Spiritual termites will eat at our core.

Once spiritual stagnation conquers, the Christian retains little appetite for the Word of God. Capacity for spiritual things dries up. This Christian operates on 30% effectiveness. Imagine driving your car with only 30% of the cylinders working. Power for emergencies would fail us. The car would chug through traffic. Many stalls would frustrate the driver.

The stronger our attitudes, the stronger the life will be. Paul challenged the Philippians to deepen their understanding of the Word so that they could free themselves from negative attitudes toward others and develop the positive attitude of Jesus (2:5). Are your attitudes changing positively toward others by the absolute standard of the Word?

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