What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Philippians had heard and received the word of God, they had learned the truth of the gospel and had seen it outworked in Paul’s life. He now wanted them to put all those things into practice.
There are some great teachers of scripture who help us understand the word of God and really bring it to life. The ability to teach is a gift given by God through the Spirit to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph.4:12), which guides us and helps us mature in the faith.
We learn in order to grow. James reminds us though, that it is not good enough to just hear the word, we need to put the word into action. If we simply go to church on Sunday, say ‘that was a great sermon’ and then do absolutely nothing with it, we are just like the seed on rocky ground; we have no roots and produce nothing. But when we hear, understand and act, we become the seed on good soil that bears fruit.
This verse not only challenges us to have an active faith, it also assures us that the God of peace will be with you. This is the part that intrigues me the most. Why the God of peace? Paul could just as easily have said ‘the God of love’ or ‘the God of joy will be with you’. I believe that when we listen to what God is saying and do what He is instructing, He will fill us with a peace that assures us that we are walking in His way.