Monthly Archives: September 2016
Last Sunday, the sermon presented continued in the book of Philippians chapter 2 with the example of two individuals who are worthy for us to follow in their footsteps: Timothy and Epaphroditus.You can listen to the sermon here.
In Timothy’s case, his is a behavior of service. Imagine being spoken of the way Paul spoke about Timothy.
Php 2:19-21 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. (20) For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (21) For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
What an endorsement! I don’t know about you but when I read that, I want to stand up and shout: “I want to be like Timothy!”
Where do your affections lie? Are they divided between Christ and the world?
In the case of Epaphroditus, here was a Christian who had come from Philippi to bring support to Paul and who stayed to help Paul with what was still lacking! Even to the point that he nearly died.
Php 2:25-30 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, (26) for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. (27) Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. (28) I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. (29) So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, (30) for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
Here was a man who would be willing to be spent in service to God. Sometimes we will put aside our health for an important thing but Epaphroditus chose to risk his life for the most worthy thing possible: the preaching of the Gospel.
What other things would consider important enough to risk your life for?
A few weeks ago, I preached a lesson from Philippians chapter 2 in which we discussed the behavior of some individuals which are worthy of imitating. In the third chapter of this book, Paul writes:
Php 3:17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
How many times have we heard as we grew up: “You need to be a good example for….”? Just fill in the blank. A younger sister, a new student, co-worker, or anyone who would be likely to imitate you and pick up your bad habits if you displayed them. Parents learn this lesson real quick with their children who watch and imitate them, sometimes to the embarrassment of the parent.
The idea, of course,that Paul wants for the Christians at Philippi, and even for us today, is to follow and imitate the behavior of those who follow God well.
He begins with the example that Jesus set for us in verses 5-11. This is an example of humility. Possessing so much and yet being willing to set it aside. Then, not just laying aside all of His glory in Heaven but being born into the world of man as a lowly carpenter’s son. As He began His ministry, He was totally dependent on those who would support Him. He had nothing in this world even though He created it all…and it was all His. Then the one thing which you could call His, His life, is the one thing that He did not withhold….He gave that up for us too.
For His humility, God has rewarded Him richly. He has been exhaled on High. It is an important example that we should strive to follow. The Scriptures teach in several places that humility is honored by God.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
The rest of the chapter has more examples we can look at in another lesson. The sermon can be heard here.
Who are the Biblical characters that you most relate to and what behavior do they model for you?