Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By J. Matt Barber

6/24/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Do you see what Paul did here - what the Holy Spirit did through Paul? He gave us eight things to

I believe the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, gave mankind eight specific things to "think about" so that "the God of peace will be with you." There can be peace in the eye of storm - a "new beginning" each day - and that peace is Christ with us. Said Paul: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).

Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com.

Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com.

Highlights

By J. Matt Barber

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/24/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: J. Matt Barber, Bible, scripture, living faith, holiness, christian living, St. Paul, Christian character


LYNCHBURG, VA (Catholic Online) - Look at your life. Life is hard. Look at the news. In our fallen, sinful world, evil swirls about like a violent dust devil, clouding the air of absolute truth and muddying the waters of pure grace that flow to eternal life through Christ Jesus.

It seems the world has gone mad, and it has. Relativism rules as up is down, black is white and that which God calls evil is called good. All forms of sexual immorality are celebrated and deceptively tagged "human rights," while God's design for marriage, family and sexuality, along with true human rights, are systematically trampled to accommodate disorder and sin. Innocent children are slaughtered at will in the safety of their mothers' wombs, while demonic political systems rooted in the pagan traditions of Islam and secular humanism stack the bodies of tens-of-millions like cordwood.

The enemy is enraged because his time is short.

Yet through it all, and in His infinite mercy and grace, God gives us a taste of things to come.
In biblical terms, the number 8 represents a new beginning with God. It signifies man's covenantal relationship with his Creator through the physical act of circumcision, which, in the Jewish tradition, is performed on the male child's eighth day. For the Christian, whether Jew or Gentile, we undergo a "circumcision of the heart" through belief upon, communion with and worship of Jesus, the God-man.

That's why I believe the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, gave mankind eight specific things to "think about" so that "the God of peace will be with you." There can be peace in the eye of storm - a "new beginning" each day - and that peace is Christ with us.

Said Paul: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things" (Philippians 4:8).

1) Whatever is true
The opposite of true is the lie. Truth is fixed. Truth is objective. Moral relativism fosters the absurd notion that truth is malleable and subjective. Therefore, relativism is a lie. But, as Pilate asked Christ, "What is truth?" God's created order, His natural law, is truth. The Bible is God's word. The Bible is truth. It is called "the word of truth. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). Jesus Himself is truth. He says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Immerse yourself in the word of God and you cannot help but "think about" truth.

2) Whatever is noble
Merriam Webster defines "noble" as "having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.)." We know noble when we see it. We see it in the teenage boy who returns the cash-flush wallet to the lost and found. We see it in the philanthropist who anonymously and generously gives to the widow and the poor - to "the least of these." We see it in the men and women who serve so that we may enjoy freedom. We especially see it in the soldier, in anyone, who lays down his life so that others may live.

3) Whatever is right
There is right and wrong. Right is correct. Wrong is incorrect. Love, true love, which derives from love Himself, is right. Hate is wrong. Right stems from truth and grace. Wrong stems from the lie, enmity and ruthlessness. Right is to forgive others so that we may be forgiven. Wrong is to resent, begrudge and refuse to forgive. Right is the exclusivity of Christ. Wrong is the "inclusivity" of religious pluralism. Right comes from God the Father. Wrong comes from the father of lies.

4) Whatever is pure
"Pure" is that which is "free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes: containing nothing that does not properly belong." Chastity is pure. Fornication is impure. Fidelity to one's spouse and the faithful marriage bed is pure. Adultery is impure. True marriage is pure. Counterfeit same-sex "marriage" is "vitiated, weakened and polluted" by sexual immorality and is, therefore, impure. Contentment is pure. Covetousness is impure. Selflessness, when harmonized with and motivated by God's moral truths, is pure. Selfishness is impure. Jesus is pure. We are impure. True Christianity is pure. Apostate "Christianity" and other false religions that deny Christ and the truth of His word are impure.

5) Whatever is lovely
"Lovely" is defined as "attractive or beautiful, especially in a graceful way." Outward beauty can be lovely. Inward beauty that derives from the Holy Spirit is always lovely. The creative arts are lovely, especially when motivated by a desire to serve, honor and glorify the Creator. Handle's Messiah is lovely. The Sistine Chapel is lovely. God's nature, creation and created order is lovely. My beautiful wife and daughters are lovely, inside and out.

6) Whatever is admirable
That which is "admirable" is "worthy of admiration; inspiring approval, reverence, or affection." The whole of God's creation, save those aspects corrupted by sin, is admirable. Our Creator God is beyond admirable and worthy of infinite wonder, praise and worship. Unfortunately, in our sinful nature, we often admire things that fall well short of admirable. We "think about" things anathema to those eight given us by Paul.

7) Whatever is excellent
Excellence means "of extremely high quality." We are told to not only think about that which is excellent, but to strive for excellence in all we do. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. ." (Ecclesiastes 9:10)We also know excellence when we see it. Michael Jordan was excellent. Legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich was excellent. The rib-eye at Ruth's Chris is excellent. President Obama's leadership and policies - economic, social, and national security-related, both foreign and domestic - are decidedly not excellent.

8) Whatever is praiseworthy
Finally, Webster's defines "praiseworthy" as "laudable: deserving praise: worthy of praise." The previous seven things Paul gives us to "think about" are also praiseworthy. They are laudable. That which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent, is also praiseworthy.

Do you see what Paul did here - what the Holy Spirit did through Paul? He gave us eight things to "think about." Does anything in particularly strike you about these eight things?

They are eight in One. Each of these eight things represents a specific character trait of Christ Himself.

Jesus is true. Jesus is noble. Jesus is right. Jesus is pure. Jesus is lovely. Jesus is admirable. Jesus is excellent and, finally, perhaps most importantly, Jesus is infinitely and eternally praiseworthy.

-------
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Christians shouldn't badmouth others, Pope warns Watch

Image of People are

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square this week, Pope Francis says that Christians must set a good example lest they drive people away into atheism. "How many times we've heard in our neighborhoods, 'Oh that person over there always goes ... continue reading


'Structural causes' of poverty must be dismantled, Pope tells activists Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a wide-ranging speech to activists, Pope Francis urged the gathered to join the fight against the "structural causes" of poverty and inequality, calling for a "revolutionary" program drawn from the Gospels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The poor no ... continue reading


God's existence does not contradict the discoveries of science, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

God remains the one who set all of creation into motion, Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week. The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Yesterday's Faith is Not Enough: How We Can Overcome Pride Watch

Image of Monks in prayer

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus continued to do what the Father had sent Him to do, in spite of opposition from apparently religious people. We are invited to follow his example. He will give us the grace to do so, if we ask Him. St Josemaria Escriva used a phrase to refer to the kind of ... continue reading


Christian rapper comes out of the closet --as straight Watch

Image of Jackie Hill-Perry is living testament to the power of God to change those who are willing to accept Him.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian rapper, Jackie Hill-Perry has come out of the closet --as straight. Hill-Perry says she experienced gender confusion after being sexually abused as a child and sought same-sex relationships until she says God helped her to change for the better. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Every Christian is 'to create unity in the Church,' Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of This creating of unity in the Church, the Pope said, recounting the reading from Saint Paul to the Philippians,

By CNA/EWTN News

In his homily for Mass at the Santa Marta residence on Oct. 24, Pope Francis reflected on the call of Christians to perpetuate unity in the Church by being "living stones" built upon the "cornerstone of Christ." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - This creating of ... continue reading


Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter