John Calvin on Philippians 4:8

| Fri, Jul 12, 2013 | Set 3 Week 28

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The following excerpt shows how John Calvin describes the various attributes Christians are to think about in Philippians 4:8. These can be found in his commentary on Philippians:

In the first place, Paul commends truth, which is nothing else than the integrity of a good conscience, with the fruits of it.

Secondly, gravity, or sanctity is an excellence which consists in this, that we walk in a manner worthy of our vocation, (Ephesians 4:1), keeping at a distance from all profane filthiness.

Thirdly, justice, which has to do with the mutual intercourse of mankind—that we do not injure any one, that we do not defraud any one.

Fourthly, purity, which denotes chastity in every department of life. Paul, however, does not reckon all these things to be sufficient, if we do not at the same time endeavor to make ourselves agreeable to all, in so far as we may lawfully do so in the Lord, and have regard also to our good name. For it is in this way that I understand the words “lovely” and “commendable.”

If any praise, that is, anything praiseworthy, for amidst such a corruption of manners there is so great a perversity in men’s judgments that praise is often bestowed upon what is blameworthy, and it is not allowable for Christians to be desirous even of true praise among men, inasmuch as they are elsewhere forbidden to glory, except in God alone. (1 Corinthians 1:31)

“Think about these things” means to meditate. Now meditation comes first, afterwards follows action.

(Paragraphs added, italics original)


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