Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By J. Matt Barber

6/24/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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).

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope Francis refers to Martin Luther to spread important message for the Church Watch

Image of Pope Francis speaks unity.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Speaking to a delegation of pilgrims led by Lutheran Archbishop Kari Makinen of Turku, Pope Francis shared a special message, in which he quoted Martin Luther. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, Pope Francis spoke of the his October ... continue reading


Pope Francis says REAL Christians are at constant war with the devil Watch

Image of If you are a Christian, you are constantly battling the devil.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The closer we are to Christ, the more the devil attacks. Why? Because the enemy wants us to fall from grace - just like he did. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his early morning Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis described the ... continue reading


The truth behind sex change surgery - The tragic case of Bruce-Brenda Reimers Watch

Image of The truth behind gender reassignment surgery (Medscape).

By Mary Rezac (CNA/EWTN News)

You've probably heard of Bruce Jenner. Phoenix, AZ (CNA/EWTN News) - Now referred to as Caitlyn Jenner, the high-profile Olympic athlete with a famously dramatic family had a very high-profile transition from male to female - including mutilple surgical alterations, a ... continue reading


Mexican exorcist claims the devil fears him - 'He can't enter us if we do not open doors' Watch

Image of The devil fears the presence of the Lord.

By (CNA)

Fr. Francisco Lopez Sedano is an 80-year-old Mexican exorcist. In the past 40 years of service, he has conducted at least 6,000 exorcisms.And, he says, the devil is afraid of him. Mexico City, Mexico (CNA) - Fr. Lopez told the newspaper Hoy Los Angeles (Los Angeles ... continue reading


Pope Francis to bless Philippines President after receiving letter of peace Watch

Image of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offers peace to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has made several negative comments about Pope Francis and the Catholic Church - So why is he suddenly writing the pontiff a letter of reconciliation? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Duterte's violent war on drugs has been a ... continue reading


Nebraska law created by KKK forces nuns to remove habits in the classroom Watch

Image of Nuns are not allowed to wear their habits in Nebraska classrooms (not pictured).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sister Madeleine Miller applied for a teaching job at a Nebraska high school. Unbeknownst to her, a shocking, nearly century-old, law calls for her to remove all religious clothing before stepping foot on school grounds. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The law bans ... continue reading


This pope is about to do something controversial when the Virgin Mary sends a message... Watch

Image of Pope Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun as he debated affirming the Assumption of Mary.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Venerable Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun in 1950, which he took as confirmation of an important declaration. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Pope Venerable Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun in 1950. At that time, he faced a decision. He wanted to ... continue reading


Catholic school faces lawsuit for firing gay teacher Watch

Image of Charlotte Catholic High School is involved in a discrimination case against a teacher involved in a same-sex civil marriage.

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

A lawsuit against a Catholic high school claims that it was illegal discrimination to fire a teacher for contracting a same-sex civil marriage, but a law professor suggests the case will not make any progress. Charlotte, NC (CNA/EWTN News) - "What they're trying to do ... continue reading


Dominicans celebrate 800-year anniversary with special reflection and prayers Watch

Image of Dominicans celebrate 800 year anniversary with reflection and prayer.

By Hannah Brockhaus (CNA/EWTN News)

As the Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans, celebrate the 800th anniversary of their founding, they gather in Rome from around the world to reflect on their history, their charism of preaching, and how they can continue to put this charism at the service ... continue reading


Our Lady of Fatima will be crowned by Cardinal Nichols at initiation of the 100-year anniversary Watch

Image of An Our Lady of Fatima statue still be crowned to begin the centenary year (Mary Anne Urlakis).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The World Apostolate of Fatima National Pilgrim Virgin statue will be received, blessed and crowned by Cardinal Nichols on Saturday February 18, 2017. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This year is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's appearance to three children in ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
2 There was a tent which comprised two compartments: the first, in which ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:20-21
20 He went home again, and once more such a crowd collected that they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 21st, 2017 Image

St. Agnes
January 21: St. Agnes of Rome was born in 291 AD and raised ... Read More