Last updated on November 11th, 2019
Philippians 4:9, Apostle Paul writes “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Learn 7 things Paul did that all Christians should do.
As Christians we do things to please God. We follow the Bible to connect with Him more, and bring about blessings in our lives. There are a lot of things Apostle did. For example, he prayed during the hours of prayer. He also observed the sabbath. These aren’t things commanded to do, but it’s a unique way you can connect with God more. Thinking of more things he did, we can recall the verse above. What things did the Philippians see in Apostle Paul that they practiced?
A good place to begin finding that answer would be in Acts 16. This chapter is when Apostle Paul, along with Silas, visited Philippi. The first thing that stood out to me was him going out to pray. Verse 13 states, “And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; ” A simple act and perhaps a simple reminder of the importance of prayer.
Spend time with people we help lead to salvation
There he would speak to a group of women at the place they went. Their hearts were opened by the Lord through his words, and they baptized them. Afterwards they stayed at their house. We can only wonder what amazing conversations were had then. Perhaps it says something warm about Paul that he spent more time with these people after he helped them begin their journey of faithfulness to the Lord. It’s an act we can follow to help others in their faithfulness to the Lord after salvation.
Practicing confident belief
As the chapter continues, we read about a slave woman with a spirit of divination. It caused her to do fortune telling, which her masters profited from. She followed Apostle Paul as he and the others were going to the place of prayer. She kept shouting he was proclaiming the way of salvation for days. Apostle Paul is described as being “greatly annoyed”. I kind of chuckle at this line. One of the most spiritual people to ever walk the earth got annoyed sometimes. We can all relate with that.
But this verse stands out for another reason. Verse 18 states “But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very [h]moment.” In this act by Apostle Paul, perhaps the Philippians saw a confidence in commanding things in the name of Jesus Christ. Whether that example shows Christian can remove bad spiritual forces through commands in the name of Jesus, that’s debatable. But the Philippians perhaps see a confident belief shown by Paul in seeing him believe in the power of God to do things we ask.
Commitment in difficult circumstances
Apostle Paul and Brother Silas were beaten and jailed after this event. Imagine a time you were in pain. Maybe not from being beaten with rod, but some kind of pain that made you feel really low. Think of a situation in your life that you feel like was your version of being jailed. How did you respond to that? Did you focus on God less? Did you pray less? Apostle Paul shows us we should do those things more in those moments.
Acts 16:25 states, “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God,“. Paul is committed to prayer and praise of God even in the most painful and difficult moments in life. And we see God rewarding this commitment to Him in the next verse. The doors were opened and the chains were unfastened by an earthquake. This example we see in Apostle Paul’s actions, we can practice and be rewarded for too.
Paul helps the jailer believe in Christ
As the story continues, the Philippian jailer woke up, saw the door, and was going to kill himself , because he thought they escaped. But they were there. And he was in fear and trembling leading them out. He would ask them how to be saved. Paul told him and his household to believe in the Lord Jesus and they baptized them. You should also be aware that it doesn’t say they had believed until after they had been baptized. So the Philippian jailer sees in Paul to make sure to baptize people so they can rejoice in having believed as well. And we too see how to help others believe in Christ through Paul’s example.
After the chief magistrate’s policeman told the jailer to tell Paul and Silas to leave, Paul said he refused to go. They had to be begged to leave. And after entering the house of Lydia and encouraging the people there they departed. This is maybe another example here the Philippian people saw to follow. Apostle Paul being encouraging, and that they were to be encouraging to each other.
Suffering for Christ’s sake
In the letter to the Philippians, Apostle Paul also writes a few times himself what He wanted them to practice. Philippians 1:29-30 states, “29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”
Think about what they remember seeing. They remembered seeing him face people against him. Being beaten, and then eventually jailed. Now does the same conflict mean the exact same suffering Paul went through? Perhaps we don’t have enough details in scripture of that having been the case. So perhaps being willing to suffer conflict from people because of our faith is the main point here. There are other things he mentions for them to follow after his example that you can read for yourself in Philippians.
This is unrelated to the topic, but really important to pay attention to. Look at the verses that follow in the next chapter after the one we just discussed. remember, this wasn’t originally divided in chapters, this was one whole letter. So it all connects. Paul tells the body of Christ to be of the same mind. to maintain the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose together. We suffer enough as it is in conflict with people against us sharing Christ. Why should we suffer more by our own disunity?
Peace to you all in Christ.