Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Philippians Chapter 4
Metaphysically Interpreting Philippians 4:1-9
4:1Wherefore, my brethren beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved. 4:2I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the Lord. 4:3Yea, I beseech thee also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4:4Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. 4:5Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 4:6In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
4:8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 4:9The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
September 6, 1925: Philippians 4:8
What verse in this lesson requires no metaphysical interpretation? Verse 8 in chapter 4 is complete in itself, and will always be an up-to-date guide for people in all moral and religious states of consciousness: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
October 11, 1931: Philippians 4:4-7
Should we sing and praise God when we are in a joyous mood, or should we sing and praise God when we feel gloomy and sad? Paul says: “Rejoice ... again I will say, Rejoice.” We were created to be happy and we should render praise to God regardless of moods or events.
After Paul and Silas had been freed from their chains and from prison they did not run away, but remained and converted the jailor and his family. What is the spiritual interpretation of this incident? Jesus said: “Agree with thine adversary quickly.” The thing that seems to be binding us has within it the elements of good. When the limitation sees that we are friendly to it, it responds and seeks to know the better way; so that, instead of running away from an adversary, or fighting it, we should make it our friend. This applies not only to our inharmonious states of mind, but also to the states of mind that we see manifesting in the people about us.
September 1, 1935: Philippians 4:4-13
What subjects make constructive thinking easiest? Truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, and goodness afford a wide range of subjects for constructive thinking. The only limitation in thinking should be on the side of negation.
Is the secret of contentment mastered through the action of the transformed will and the developed understanding? The trained will and the illumined understanding, working in unison, help man to solve the secret of contentment. Paul learned to be content under all circumstances.
Name the source of the power that enables us to carry through all our undertakings. The Christ consciousness is the only source of power. “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”
How can we make cheerfulness and joy habitual? By denying the power of circumstances to affect us, and holding ourselves in a constructive frame of mind regardless of conditions, we form the habit of cheerfulness. Joy comes to us as the habit of constructive thinking brings us into conscious oneness with God.
Does forbearance help to transform the will? To forbear to enforce one's “rights” is a splendid exercise in the development of the higher will. Forbearance is founded chiefly on love, and “love ... seeketh not its own.”
Does reliance on God result in greater happiness to man than the attitude of sophistication, doubt, and anxiety? Reliance on God makes man conscious of peace. Doubt, anxiety, and sophistication leave him a stranger to peace and therefore to happiness.
August 25, 1946: Philippians 4:8
What standard is of help to us in disciplining our thoughts? The standard that holds the mind to what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Sufficient food for thought is found in this category to occupy the mind throughout our waking hours.
December 12, 1948: Philippians 4:8-9
What should we do to develop habits of constructive thinking? To develop habits of constructive thinking we should keep our thoughts on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. We thus make manifest the virtue of goodness and develop in ourselves the attitude of praise as well as encourage praiseworthy thoughts and ideals in others.
October 29, 1950: Philippians 4:8-9
What kind of reading is suitable subject matter for meditation? Whatever can be classified as true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, or “of good report.” It must have a thread of Truth underlying it and thus be able to lift up and ennoble our spirit. We must find in it some good for ourselves and others, and it must be praiseworthy.
Is it wise to follow the example of another? Only when the other is wholly dedicated to Truth. Paul admonished his disciples: “The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do.” Paul represents the intuitive word of Truth, and his devotion to Truth (the Christ) was beyond question.
What follows when the “God of peace” is with us? We are at peace both within and without “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” but that is nonetheless real and permanent, in-fills our whole being.
Metaphysically Interpreting Philippians 4:10-20
4:10But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye have revived your thought for me; wherein ye did indeed take thought, but ye lacked opportunity. 4:11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.4:12I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want. 4:13I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me. 4:14Howbeit ye did well that ye had fellowship with my affliction.
4:15And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving and receiving but ye only; 4:16for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. 4:17Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account. 4:18But I have all things, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, and odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 4:19And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 4:20Now unto our God and Father be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
July 27, 1919: Philippians 4:10-20
What spiritual law is here recorded as being set into action? The law of Giving and Receiving. In exchange for light, and guidance into spiritual knowledge, the followers of the apostle of the Christ gladly gave of their support and sustenance.
How far-reaching are such acts of loving helpfulness? Every kindly act, if unselfishly performed, be it large or small, radiates to the utmost boundaries of the universe, and is enduring, eternal.
What is the first fruit that increases to the account of those who give as they have received? The first fruit is a conscious at-one-ment with the Source of life, knowledge, substance; a realization that “all that the Father hath is mine.”
How does this spiritual consciousness work out in the affairs of those who keep the law? New life, new light, increased abundance open up to them. They receive in accordance to the measure of their love and trust.
What is brought about through the assembling of a people of this character, which a common interest has called together? Closer acquaintanceships are formed, which grow and ripen into closer relationships. A spiritual sympathy binds them together, and all are strengthened, sustained, and upheld. Spiritual fellowship is established.
What benefits are derived from spiritual fellowship? Association between spiritual minds ennobles. The individual manifestations of the good the beautiful, the true, impress their unassuming grandeur upon each other, which serves as incentives to greater growth, to the expression of a fuller and more unselfish love.
What will be the ultimate outcome of the Church of Christ? The ultimate outcome of the Church of Christ will be the redemption of the whole creation. Sin, sickness, death shall be no more. We shall dwell consciously with the Spirit of God, as ever renewing life, joy, peace. The whole earth shall rejoice and “bloom as a rose.”
November 26, 1956: Philippians 4:10-18
What is the “secret” of being filled and of being hungry that Paul speaks about? The possession of poise and equanimity under extremes, whether of good or ill.
Is this secret a matter of adjustment to circumstances? It is. “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”
In giving, what is “the fruit that increaseth” to the account of the giver? The joy and satisfaction of one who has put himself in tune with the law of giving and receiving.
What “sacrifice” is “well-pleasing to God”? The gift that is given without impoverishing the recipient.
Is contentment a desirable trait of character? Yes, for it is both a divine gift and a human attainment. As a gift it makes for individual happiness, and as an attainment it proves self-dominion and mastery, since the state of mind of the personal mas is what we may call “divine discontent.” The inquiring mind that is on the alert for new truth is in a state quite different from that of the discontented mind. The latter is a stranger to the divine.
What makes our giving acceptable to others? The cheerfulness with which we give. When we give grudgingly to someone, even though the recipient may be in actual need of the gift and may accept it for that reason alone, he experiences no expansion of spirit in accepting it, but rather feels resentment. Neither do we benefit by giving grudgingly. Unless we can give joyously we should withhold what Emerson has called the “wicked dollar,” adding, “which by and by I shall have the manhood to withhold.”
How can we prove the truth of the statement “God is able to make all grace abound unto you”? By keeping an open mind, an open heart, and an open hand. The mind should be open to the good only, as should the heart, and the hand should express the thoughts and ideas that the mind and heart pass on to it for executing.
Metaphysically Interpreting Philippians 4:21-23
4:21Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren that are with me salute you. 4:22All the saints salute you, especially they that are of Caesar's household. 4:23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-19-2014