Before he was killed, a group of Jews visited Paul to get from him what insight they could. They sought to touch his “frame of mind.” They probably were not prepared for what they found: a frame of mind in line with the Kingdom of God. The chief men of the Jews at Rome approached Paul in jail with the following request: “We desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest” (Acts 28:22, KJV). “Thinkest” is from the Greek phroneo. Their request meant, “We would like to pick your mind and see how you put your ideas together. We want to know what is your frame of thought. What makes you think, talk, act, and react as you do?” “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).
In Philippians, one of his most self-revealing letters, we find more about Paul’s frame of mind, particularly as it concerned Jesus. In response, he expounded and testified about the Kingdom of God and persuaded them concerning Jesus. He revealed what was in his frame of mind and set before them a solemn exhortation, with clear testimony, regarding two matters. He defined the Kingdom of God as a personal operation and presence in his life, and he declared that Jesus Christ was alive and well because he knew Him personally. Paul was a prisoner, but his frame of mind was that of a king. He thought in line with the Kingdom of God. Even though he had lost his natural liberties and was a captive, he still was reigning in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
Paul’s epistle to the Philippians was written while he was a prisoner in Rome. Many times he made use of the word phroneo, which means “to have a certain frame of mind.” We may conclude that in this letter he expounded in greater measure what we have in outline form in Acts 28:22-23 as he responded to the men who wished to hear his thoughts. We can learn from him as we see…
What he thought about amassing wealth… Philippians 3:8… “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung [useless garbage], that I may win Christ” (KJV).
What he thought about becoming right with God… Philippians 3:9… “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (KJV).
What he thought about reaching goals… Philippians 3:10-11… “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (KJV).
What he thought about his present spiritual condition… Philippians 3:12-14… “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus [that I may lay hold on that for which Christ Jesus laid hold on me]. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus [I keep my focus set on Christ Jesus as I pursue the high calling God has placed on my life]” (KJV).
His advice to those who would become mature in relationship with Christ… Philippians 3:15 (KJV)… “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded” (the word “minded” here comes from phroneo). “May every one of us who press toward maturity have this same frame of mind.”
His exhortation to those who would escape the corrupting influence of the world… Colossians 3:1-2… “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above [have a frame of mind that embraces things belonging to the heavens], not on things on the earth” (KJV).
His summarizing word to those who would know Christ Jesus… Philippians 2:5… “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (KJV). Or, have the same frame of mind that was in Christ Jesus.
Pastor George Belobaba
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