The Passage in Philippians 4:1-9 is dealing with Spiritual Stability, and in verse 8 is dealing with the believers thought life.

The Scripture teaches “As a man thinks in his heart so he is.” The thought life reveals who we believe we are and what controls our thoughts influences our view of not only ourselves but God and life! Scripture teaches before we came under the authority of the LORD Jesus Scripture teaches our mind was ” depraved...{Rom 1:28};…lives in the lusts of his flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind -{Eph 2:3};darkened in our understanding,… hostile towards God -{Rom 8:7-9};…its blind…-{2 Cor 4:4}…foolishmind earthly things…cannot understand the things of God”….{1 Cor 2:14}. “…They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” -{Eph 4:18}. “But God…” saved us and gave us a new heart with a new desire, new ability and capacity to think and perceive rightly… and to love God with ALL our mind, as our goal, not to gain His favor but because HE HAS Favored us with Himself and Salvation. We have the capacity to obey Him,”You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires,  to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.” -{Eph 4:22-24}.

Since the first and greatest commandment is to Love the LORD your God with all your… Mind,” it makes sense that this is where the attack will be aimed at from an evil foe… our mind!

Paul wrote we are to “Renew our mind…” though saved, there are thoughts, ideas we have carried over that do not represent who He is, or who He says we are “In Christ,” nor His ways and will which He desires for us to know.

So His Word is what the Holy Spirit uses to “Guide us into all truth.” Just as in Paul’s day, we too encounter an onslaught on our senses, our thoughts from ungodly ideologies of a world system that seeks things on this earth as the highest achievements and goal. People centered goal’s, and not God’s. Paul also spoke of “strong towers” built up in peoples thinking that the Word of God alone can dismantle and destroy those false ideas, thoughts that exalt itself against  the knowledge of God, and keep people in spiritual bondage. -{Read 2 Cor 10:4-5}

The evil  one is a thief. The LORD Jesus is The Liberator! {Read John 10:10}

And God’s means is His Truth through the Spirit of God illuminating, teaching and revealing the things of God to us  and building us up in our faith and spiritually stabilizing us! {Read John 16:13-14}

God’s Word is called “The Sword of the Spirit.”{Read Ephesians 6:17}. It is what the Spirit of God uses as His Sword for us in the battle. The word “sword,” here speaks of a small dagger, not a big sword like something you may see in the Three Musketeers, a long long sword. But the word used speaks of  what would be used up close in combat, a dagger! And our combat is with a  cruel enemy who uses a godless society  to seek to tie people in further bondage in their thinking through various means, such as  the pride of life, elevating self achievement while seeking to devalue, mock the value of God, and His Word! “But God…” RICH IN MERCY… still saves people from the bondage, guilt, power and consequences of sin to Himself to be adopted into His family…, accepted in the Beloved, sealed, protected by His Spirit until the day we see Him and we have been gifted the Holy Spirit to Guide us into truth  for as we continue in His Word, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free… more and more so  we see Him for who He is and who He say we are “In Christ.” {Read John 16:13-14;John 8:31;32}. Now “In Christ,” we “see” life differently, have different values, and this comes about more and more as we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly, influencing, controlling  and producing Christ like thinking and actions and purposely living for Christ’ glory! And when we are not? He is faithful to remind us and we begin afresh with Him, looking and leaning upon Him and being taught by Him!

In Philippians 4:8- We see God’s Provision of what I call “God’s Eight Guard’s” for our mind TO HELP US DETECT those thoughts that would seek us harm to grieve Him and lead us astray from Him, His revealed will and ways.

Paul is teaching  that we must learn to THINK on the Right things… if we are to be spiritually stable. So much of our spiritual instability is a result of Thinking on the wrong things consistently, believing and acting on them!

The word “DWELL ON” means “To EVALUATE, TO CONSIDER, TO CALCULATE…” It is a command and is to be continuous, to produce a HABIT Of the way we think in order to influence what we Do -{Phil 4:9}.

God wants us to THINK. Indeed God commands us to Think!

Lets consider  ” GOD’S EIGHT GUARDS”




NOTE ; THE SIX “WHATEVER’S and the two “IF’S” in Philippians 4:8, so as to be your own detective!

whatever is true,

whatever is honorable,

whatever is right,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is of good repute,

if there is any excellence and

if anything worthy of praise,

dwell on these things.

The command is to continually evaluate, consider, as the habit of your life. on these things just mentioned!}

Let’s Take a closer look at God’s Eight Guards of protection and spiritually healthy promotion for your mind…to produce spiritual stability in your life, and also so you may be able to help others in this area. For many a believer has suffered like those in Philippians 4:6 with anxiety or depression as those in Prov 12:25. and in each case God who is compassionate wants to aid His people and lead them to a place of hope and certainty in helping their thinking spiritually healthy thoughts, not “positive thinking’ but Godly thinking,” grounded in His Word. One has its foundation in “hope so,” the hope of “chance” like that of a gambler, the other in the guaranteed  hope of certainty as it is anchored in God who is the “GOD OF ALL HOPE”-{Read Rom 15:13}.


1.-whatever is TRUE. 

God is True, His Word is True, Jesus is the Truth. So thinking on God, His character His Word and His Son, are great and glorious themes to occupy our mind with. The Truth is found in His Word, which is TRUTH {John 17:17; Psalm 119:151}. So if we want to know what is truth then we give our attention to the Word of God, the Word of Truth, to think on truth, to know truth, to be conformed to truth! Indeed the devil is opposed to truth, for truth sets us free. The devil is a liar, and he opposes us with lies, fears, doubts as when tempting Adam and Eve…all to seek to trip them up and sin against God! We are constantly bombarded with lies and temptations to choose them. Indeed we read in Scripture there is pleasure in sin for a season, that is why we are often attracted to different types, but a s a sports season ends or the four seasons end so the pleasures end and then what? often we are hooked line and sinker like a fish caught on the end of a sharp bait, on its way to death. Sin kills, destroys, distorts, dishonors God. We need to expose our mind to TRUTH and be careful what we take in through our ears and our eyes, be alert! Be on guard. Where will we find such truth to mediate upon? His Word! His Spirit will guide us into truth {John 16:13-14} We are responsible to meditate on truth-{Psalm 1:2} and as Paul lays our before us, truth is necessary if we are to have right and Godly relationships, dealing with anxious thoughts, right praying,. Feed your mind on Truth, Listen to it, Read it ,Meditate upon it, perhaps taking a  verse writing it out and carrying it with you and when you have free moments looking at it word for word, phrase for phrase. Pray it for yourself and others. NOTE IS THERE ANYTHING IN IT TO THANK Him for. Or perhaps place it on a mirror in your bathroom or over a kitchen sink so you can see it several times a day, and as you mediate upon It you will find the Holy Spirit can recall to your mind even Years later from the vault of your bank – your mind, to guide you through His WORD! Truth is not optional. It is commanded and you or I ARE no exceptions!

Think on these- God is True. Jesus is Truth {John 14:6; Eph 4:21}; His Word is True{John 17:17}. if we continue in His Word then we will know the truth and the truth wills set us free.{John 8:31-32}…. The Holy Spirit is True and “Guides us into all truth”-{John 16:13-14}, We are commanded to continually THINK on Truth -{Phil 4:8} and John said “I have no greater joy than to hear my children{believers} are waling in the TRUTH!” And we are to “Hold forth the Word of Life.” Which is the Word of TRUTH!

So how do we obey the command to continually think and dwell on truth?

Immerse yourself in the Word of God to study to know Him as Ezra did {Ezra 7:10} and to feed on His Truth, to obey Him and He will change us from the inside out and we will have discernment through His Word to walk in truth! His Word…the means to Knowing Truth about Him, His Son, people’s true spiritual condition apart from Him, those who are “In Christ,” how to live in a manner worthy and pleasing to Him. Heaven, Hell, eternal realities.



Read Philippians and note three TRUTHS about the character of God, three about the LORD Jesus… read Ephesians 1:3-15 and write down some truths that are true of you as a Christian, note the phrases”In Him.., in Whom…in Christ…” Read Psalm 19:7-11. Note several truths abut God’s Word… Read again the book of Philippians and underline the word “mind, attitude,”note what type of mind we are to have in Philippians 2… and if you do this assignment you will have your own small catalog of TRUTH to mediate upon, THANK Him for TRUTH and SHARE these TRUTHS with others to Encourage others.

1.- CONTINUALLY THINK ON “Whatever is TRUE…dwell on these things.”

2. – “Whatever is HONORABLE,{NOBLE} ..dwell on these things.”

“Honorble” – (semnos) means “worthy of respect or entitled to honor. It is that which inspires reverence or awe.” It describes those things which are worthy, venerable, august, noble. The idea pertains to whatever evokes special respect. It means worthy of reverence, combining the ideas of gravity and dignity. {King James Bible Commentary.} Semnos is used only 4 times in the NT,

HONORABLE, the word means,“that which inspires reverence or awe; dignified, worthy of respect.” “semnos”is used just 4 timss in the NT. It is to be a characteristic in deacons and deaconesses (1 Tim. 3:8, 11). Elders are to keep their children under control “with all dignity” (1 Tim. 3:4). All believers without exception are to“lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2}.

“The word really comes from a term meaning to worship.  Whatever is worthy of awe, whatever is held in high regard, whatever is greatly respected, whatever is worthy of adoration, that’s what I think about.”-{John Mac Arthur} 

Whatever is honorable, noble, worthy of worship, those things that inspire reverence, awe are what we are to continually choose to think on. That rules a lot out of what we  choose to watch, listen, read. It is not a matter of being legalistic but it is a matter of love for Him! It does mean there are alot of things that are not worthy for us to give our continual attention to think on and allow to control our thought life. Instead think on those things that are honorable, worthy of respect,  worshipful, to continually contemplate, evaluate, consider! It’s a matter of discernment, will this promote spiritual health, stability? Set, fix my affections… and mind… on things above, will! {Read Col 3:1-2}

3. -whatever is RIGHT, …dwell on these things.

MacArthur on “right”  – Dikaios…describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, again as revealed in Scripture. Believers are to think on matters that are consistent with the law of God.”

It is used of God who is Righteous -{Read Rom 3;26}; Jesus is Righteous -{Read Acts 3:14} and we His people are to practice “Righteous” living ,”Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous.”-{ 1 John 3:7}. So we continually think on God, His righteousness, Jesus, and we are to develop this Christian mind and model our lives upon Him, not in our own weak flesh but in dependence upon Him who works within us.- {Read Phil 2:13; Phil 4:13}. “Dikaios describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, as revealed in Scripture.”-{preceptaustin commentaries}.The issue is not is it convenient, but is it right by God’s Standard as revealed in His Word.

TEMPTATION V TRUTH? When tempted to lie, cheat, how will I know if it’s o’k or not? When I worry, is that just “natural” and  THE ATTITUDE of “we all do it… and this is the way it’s going to be and there is nothing we can do about it?” Or does not His Word tell me in Phil 4;6 to “stop habitually worrying” as the way it is grammatically written and what to do instead when tempted or even if I yield to the temptation “Be anxious in nothing BUT{Rather
in everything by prayer {the word that is used for adoration, worship} supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God and the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and MIND In Christ”-{Phil 4:6-7}. His Word reveals truth to me and what TO DO WHEN TEMPTED and what is  the right, God Honoring response!

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”-{1 Cor 10:13}. Here is a promise when we encounter temptation to sin against God, that God is faithful and will provide “the” note that word in the verse, with “the” specific temptation God response with “The” specific way to escape so we do not have to yield to the temptation and sin against God. This is a promise. This is Truth… this is the RIGHT way to handle temptation, with His Word as our “sword” as Jesus responded when He was tempted “It is written, it is written, it is written…” He responded with the TRUTH,for it is RIGHT – {Matt 4:4,10}

Peter wrote, “Prepare {Gird up} your mind for action.”-{1 Peter 1:13}.

Paul said, in Colossians 3:2  “Set your mind on things” – what? – “above, not on things on the earth.”  Paul tells us we have to take care of our mind and develop mental discipline!

Ten times in 1 Corinthians and Romans Paul says, “Do you not know?”  “Do you not know?”  “Do you not know?”  What they did not know, he wants them to know. peter wrote three times in 2 Peter 1 “I write these things to Remind you…” He reminds them of TRUTH! He wants them to Think!!H Jesus often used the verb “to think.” 

We must be committed to thinking RIGHT as God’s Word reveals what RIGHT is.. and it is RIGHT we think on TRUTH! ON God, His Word, His promises! 

4. -whatever is pure,  …dwell on these things.

PURE – It means what is morally pure and morally clean, That is what I am to think on consistently, not impurity, immorality but pure thoughts!

Pure – (hagnos) is that which is free from defilement, stainless, that which will not contaminated, that which is “morally and inwardly” pure. Hagnos is that which is holy, morally clean, and undefiled.”


Barclay adds that when hagnos was “used ceremonially, it describes that which has been so cleansed that it is fit to be brought into the presence of God and used in his service. This world is full of things which are sordid and shabby and soiled and smutty. Many a man gets his mind into such a state that it soils everything of which it thinks. The Christian’s mind is set on the things which are pure; his thoughts are so clean that they can stand even the scrutiny of God.” (ibid)

So we need to test what think about through the “grid” of hagnos and ask ourselves these simple questions – Will it defile or is it intrinsically pure? Will it corrupt our thinking if we give attention to it? Will it stand the scrutiny of God? Will it make me more like Jesus Who is perfect hagnos?”

5. -whatever is lovely,  …dwell on these things.

The word is used only here in the New Testament and means,” what is winsome, pleasing, agreeable, and attractive, amiable.   “It’s an unusual word.  It means whatever is sweet or gracious or generous or patient.  It can a lot of sort of facets.  Whatever is attractive and lovely is as good as any word to translate that term.”-{John Mac Arthur}

Again our thoughts are to be set higher. The beauty and attractiveness of the Lord JESUS, the things that are pleasing to Him, such as “faith…” should cause us to continually think on these things…

“Lovely (prosphile is a relationship word derived from pros = towards + philes = friend) refers to that conduct which is dear to someone. Lovable, endearing, amiable, gracious, charming, pleasing, winsome. 

It is conduct which is pleasing in it’s motive and actions towards others. Lovely has the idea of that which is admirable or agreeable to behold or consider.”

Barclay – Winsome is the best translation of all. The Greek is prosphile, and it might be paraphrased as that which calls forth love. There are those whose minds are so set on vengeance and punishment that they call forth bitterness and fear in others. There are those whose minds are so set on criticism and rebuke that they call forth resentment in others. The mind of the Christian is set on the lovely things—kindness, sympathy, forbearance—so he is a winsome person, whom to see is to love. (ibid)

Ask: Will this thing produce concord and rest and peace: Or will giving attention to this thing produce strife either within you or between you and another brother? If the former, then as the saying goes “hold that thought”! If the latter, than cast it aside.

6. -whatever is of good repute, …dwell on these things.

It means “well thought of.  Whatever is highly regarded.’ 

“This comes from a compound word meaning “to speak well of something”  It refers to something that “deservedly enjoys a good reputation” -{F. F. Bruce, New International Biblical Commentary, Philippians [Hendrickson], p. 146}

” Good repute (2163) (euphemos is from eu = well, good + pheme = rumor, fame; English = euphemism) and refers to that which is well–spoken of, praiseworthy, laudable, highly regarded or well thought of. It is something or someone that deservedly enjoys a good reputation.

Ask: Are we concentrating on the good things we see in others or are we dwelling on their faults and shortcomings?

No Christian can afford to waste “mind power” on thoughts that tear him down or that would tear others down if these thoughts were shared. The believer must major on the high and noble thoughts especially as revealed in the pure milk of God’s word and not dwell upon the base thoughts of this corrupt world.”

  7. -if there is any excellence and …dwell on these things.

The way it is written is not “if” as there is a doubt but since there is and there is…EXCELLENCE in Christ, and His Word and the Christian life…” But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.” – { 2 Cor 8:7 }…”I show you a still more excellent way…” {1 Cor 12:31}… the way of LOVE!… THE EXCELLENCIES of Christ…”But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nationa people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”-{1 Peter 2:9}…”Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.’-{Daniel 6:3}

Excellence-The word means “moral virtue.” It is used of God in 2 Peter 1:3, and also used of what believers are to add to their faith -2 Peter 1:5… progressing in this area of our Christian growth, by recognizing and rejecting any behavior that is opposed to God’s character and moral virtue!

dwell on,… think on… these things

8. – if anything worthy of praise,  …dwell on these things.

In the NT epainos is used to describe praise from God to men, praise to God from men (1 Cor 4:5, fame in 2 Cor 8:18, etc) and praise from men to men (Romans 2:29; Romans 13:3)

Epainos is used 11 times in the NT…

The word “praise” is used both of  God and what is praiseworthy of Him. (Read Eph. 1:6, 12, 14Phil. 1:11) and  also used in people (Read Rom. 2:29; 13:31 Cor. 4:5). Looking and praising what is commendable in others. It’s a good antidote to a critical spirit! Look for the good you see in people and commend them for it!

“Worthy of praise (1868) (epainos from epí = upon + aínos = praise) is literally “praise upon” and denotes commendation, praise, or approbation (an act of formally or officially approving). It means something which is worthy of being commended. The word can describe the act of expressing admiration or approval, praise, approval, recognition. In the present context “epainos” describes a thing that is praiseworthy or something that deserves to be praised. So when that thought comes into your mind ask “Is it praiseworthy?” Then reflect upon it.”

Detzler writes that epainos is…

Used sparingly in the Scriptures, the basic meaning of this word is “applause.” It speaks of expressed approval or public recognition. Usually this praise was addressed to an individual or to an entire community. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today’s Language. Victor. 1986)


What is the opposite of anything worthy of praise? One thought is would be anything worthy of criticism. In other words one becomes hyper-critical. Instead of accentuating the positive (the praiseworthy), he accentuates the negative. We often refer to such a person as one who has a critical spirit. Paul says one way to counter critical thoughts is to dwell on praiseworthy thoughts. Ask God by His Spirit to exchange your critical spirit for God’s correct thinking in Php 4:8. And begin by memorizing Php 4:8. In fact memorize Php 4:6-9 as these passages flow together.”- {preceptustin commentaries}


Adrian Rogers ILLUSTRATION – I heard of a little boy who went out to see the Grand Canyon, and an old preacher went out to see the Grand Canyon. The old preacher wrote back to his wife—he said, “Today I’ve seen the handiwork of God. I’ve seen God as He put colors on His palette, and God as He took His fingers and sculptured a masterpiece.” And, he went on, in grandiose words, to describe the Grand Canyon. The little boy wrote back to his mother, and he said, “Guess what, Ma? Today I spit a mile.” You can be surrounded by beauty, and not see it.

“if anything worthy of praise,…dwell on these things.”


COMMANDED to DWELL on these things… Continuously set, fix, train your thinking to think on these Eight truths and indeed these are God’s provision for you to transform your thinking to align with God’s design, desire in order to develop a Christian Mind. the above are what I call “GOD’S EIGHT GUARD’S” for your mind not only to protect but to promote a healthy Christian mind  to influence the way you think so as to Practice the way you live!

These Truths, characteristics  we must continually think, meditate upon, calculate, evaluate, consider and allow them to shape our conduct with the intent on consciously and continually doing them as an expression of Love ultimately to Him, as Jesus teaches in John 14:21 , ” Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

How can we do this?

Firstly, God has promised to help us. We read in Phil 2:13, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”-{NLT}.

Secondly, “God has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness.”{Read 2 Peter 1:3}. So we have the power to change and incorporate this into the way we learn to develop a Christian mind. His Word by His Spirit is the Means to bring about this change in our thinking as we choose to apply His Word!. We must evaluate, consider, what we allow come into our thinking and chose to dwell on!

We cannot as the old saying goes, stop a bird from flying over our head but we can stop it from building a nest on our head! To build a nest takes time, and we will not give thoughts that do not meat the criteria listed above time to penetrate our thinking so it can build a stronghold in our thinking! It is a choice to be vigilant, to be on our guard, Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” The word “For” gives us the reason, explanation to watch over our heart with all diligence!

“Dwell”...”think about these things” (ESV, NET), “dwell on these things” (CSB), “Fix your thoughts on.” (NLT), “let your minds be filled with.” (NJB)…

“Dwell…” Commanded to continuously, calculate, evaluate, take into account, reflect carefully on these EIGHT TRUTH’S Paul mentions in Philippians 4:8. And as you do and I do then it sets us up to practice doing right in verse 9!

This is God’s WISDOM For us on how to develop, maintain spiritual stability by choosing to allow God’s Word, His truth to mold and control our thinking so as to influence our actions….