Worthy of praise (1868) (epainos from epí = upon + aínos = praise) is literally “praise upon” and denotes commendation, praise, or approbation (an act of formally or officially approving). It means something which is worthy of being commended. The word can describe the act of expressing admiration or approval, praise, approval, recognition. In the present context epainos describes a thing that is praiseworthy or something that deserves to be praised. So when that thought comes into your mind ask “Is it praiseworthy?” Then reflect upon it.
Detzler writes that epainos is…
Used sparingly in the Scriptures, the basic meaning of this word is “applause.” It speaks of expressed approval or public recognition. Usually this praise was addressed to an individual or to an entire community. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today’s Language. Victor. 1986)
Richards in his note on the related verb epaineo writes that it…
means “to commend,” and thus “to praise.” In the spirit of the OT, this word for praise involves commending God for himself, his qualities, and his works. This word is also used in commending people. Excitingly, we learn that God will commend believers for faithful service. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
In the NT epainos is used to describe praise from God to men, praise to God from men (1 Cor 4:5, fame in 2 Cor 8:18, etc) and praise from men to men (Romans 2:29; Romans 13:3)
Epainos is used 11 times in the NT…
Romans 2:29 (note) But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. (Comment: There is almost a play on words here because Jew [Ioudaios ~ “the praised one”!] is related to the word Judah [Ioudas; cp Gen 49:8] which means praise. Here the praise from God is on those Jews who have received the Messiah as Savior. Vincent remarks that in this context epainos “means the holy satisfaction of God as opposed to Jewish vain-glory.” Denny has an interesting remark that “the love of praise from each other, and religious vanity, are Jewish characteristics strongly commented on by our Lord.”)
Romans 13:3 (note) For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. (Comment: This refers to the Judgment of believers [see bema] where the motives of deeds done in this present life will be assayed and rewarded or not rewarded. It is of note that the clear implication is that each believer will receive praise from God. This is amazing grace indeed!)
2 Corinthians 8:18 And we have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches;
Ephesians 1:6 (note) to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved….1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory….1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Comment: Vincent writes that the ultimate aim of foreordination is that “Praise is called forth from the children of God by this divine glory which thus appears in grace.”)
Philippians 1:11 (note) having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
1 Peter 1:7 (note) that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 2:14 (note) or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
There are 5 uses of epainos in the Septuagint (LXX) (1 Chr 16:27; 2 Chr. 21:20; Ps. 22:3, 25; 35:28)
Psalm 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Thy righteousness And Thy praise (Hebrew = tehillah = hymn or song of praise, praise in general; Lxx = epainos) all day long. (Spurgeon’s Note: Unceasing praise is here vowed to the just and gracious God. From morning till evening the grateful tongue would talk and sing, and glorify the Lord. O for such a resolve carried out by us all!)
TDNT notes that…
Praise and approval were much sought after in antiquity, though the Stoic tried to achieve freedom from human judgment. In the OT, epainos is the recognition that the community gives the righteous, but especially God’s approval. In Philo it is the approval of Moses or God, but sometimes public applause in the Greek sense. epainos may also be used in the LXX for the community’s attitude of praise and worship toward God. God’s throne is surrounded by doxa and epainos (1 Chr 16:27) (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
Vincent writes that epainos is
Commendation corresponding to the moral value of the virtue.
LET YOUR MIND DWELL (meditate, ponder, continually take an inventory) ON THESE THINGS: tauta logizesthe (2PPMM): (Lk 16:15; 1Th 5:21; 1Jn 4:1) (Macarthur on Php 4:8 Godly Thinking)
These things are the eight words used for the values that should fill the Christian’s thought-life or as someone has referred to it as Paul’s paragraph on good “mental health”. As they are ‘taken into account’, they will shape attitudes and direct words and actions. Just the “sheer weight” of these the positive traits Paul notes demands a zealous rejection of the continual bombardment of our minds by godless, negative thoughts (and pictures) of this world.
Take viewing habits as just one example — the disturbing truth as demonstrated in a recent nation wide survey is that there is no discernible difference between born again and non-born again individuals regarding the likelihood that they would view adult-only content on the Internet or that they would read magazines or watch videos with explicit sexual content! This negative mindset is exactly what the positive points of Philippians 4:8 are intended to counter and correct. But God’s Spirit will not make us puppets. He will give us the desire and the power but we still have to make the personal choice to work out our salvation in fear and trembling! (Php 2:12, 13-see notes Ph 2:12; 13) What does this mean for you? Perhaps you need to stop watching television (not under law but under grace, enabled by the Spirit Who leads you with His holy desires that still call for you to make a choice to follow or not follow His lead! – Gal 5:18-note). Or perhaps you need to ask another believer to become your accountability partner regarding your Internet usage. Jesus made it very clear that we should do whatever it takes, declaring that…
if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell. (See notes Matthew 5:29; 30)
Let your mind dwell – You are not responsible for the way others think, but you are responsible as a believer the way you think. Each of the preceding categories are a matter of personal choice. Our choices do matter. We can choose a “thought program” that will yield a Christian mind like Paul (Php 4:9-note) or we can accept the input of the godless world which will yield a mind like Lot who “felt his righteous soul tormented day after day” (2Pe 3:8-note). You cannot serve both “masters”, God and mammon (Mt 6:24-note)
The Psalmist gives sage advice
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. (Psalm 101:3)
I will neither delight in it, aim at it or endure it. If I have wickedness brought before me by others I will turn away from it, I will not gaze upon it with pleasure. The psalmist is very sweeping in his resolve, he declines the least, the most reputable, the most customary form of evil — no wicked thing; not only shall it not dwell in his heart, but not even before his eyes, for what fascinates the eye is very apt to gain admission into the heart, even as Eve’s apple first pleased her sight and then prevailed over her mind and hand.
He was warmly against it; he did not view it with indifference, but with utter scorn and abhorrence. Hatred of sin is a good sentinel for the door of virtue…
I will disown their ways, I will not imitate their policy: like dirt it may fall upon me, but I will wash it off, and never rest till I am rid of it. Sin, like pitch, is very apt to stick.
In the course of our family history crooked things will turn up, for we are all imperfect, and some of those around us are far from being what they should be; it must, therefore, be one great object of our care to disentangle ourselves, to keep clear of transgression, and of all that comes of it: this cannot be done unless the Lord both comes to us, and abides with us evermore.
In short, believers need to allow Christ to be Lord of their time, whether on the Web or the Tube.
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