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10.25.16 Bible Study - A Philippian to Emulate

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:25
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Paul lifted up Epaphroditus to the Philippian Church as a person to emulate. Pastor Wells spotlights this type of Jesus Christ as an example.

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Introduction

Paul was a complete Hebrew. He was known as a "Hebrew of the Hebrews." Timothy was part Jew, (from his mother's side) and part Gentile, (from his father's side.) However, Epaphroditus was a full gentile, as far as we can tell. That says that no matter what our background, God can truly use us.
Epaphroditus was a respected member of the Philippian Church who risked his health and his very life to bring the missionary offering they had taken to Paul for his well-being while incarcerated on his first

A. Complete In His Association with Paul

Brother, Fellow Worker, Fellow Soldier

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Six: A Priceless Pair (Philippians 2:19–30)

He was like Nehemiah, the man who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with his sword in one hand and his trowel in the other (Neh. 4:17).

Epaphroditus Was Celebrated By Paul

These are descriptions that Warren Wiersbe shared concerning Epaphroditus –
"my brother" – "The fellowship in the Gospel" (Phil. 1:5)
"my companion in labor" – "the furtherance of the Gospel (Phil. 1:12)
"my fellow soldier – "the faith of the Gospel" (Phil. 1:27)

B. CONCERNED IN HIS RELATION TO PAUL AND OTHERS

Concerned About Paul

When he heard that Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he obviously volunteered to make the long trip to Rome to help Paul and minister to his needs. He wasn't content to contribute to the offering, he was willing to carry the offering.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Six: A Priceless Pair (Philippians 2:19–30)

“The problem in our churches,” states one missionary leader, “is that we have too many spectators and not enough participants.”

Concerned About His Home Fellowship–While Sick

Epaphroditus became ill when he reached Rome. Paul emphasizes that he was "sick unto death." When the church in Philippi heard about his illness, they became concerned and shamed that he was not able to perform. However, he was more burdened because they were worried about him, not because he was sick unto death! When the term distressed is used to say that he was concerned about the church in v. 26, it's the same term used of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:37
Matthew 26:37 NKJV

And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

He knew what it was to sacrifice and to serve.

C. CLOSE TO PAUL

27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

D. COMMENDED OF PAUL

29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem;

E. CONSIGNED BY PAUL TO RETURN

30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

Epaphroditus did for the church at Philippi what they could not do for themselves. He gave himself at the point of death to serve Paul and Bless Him.
He considered the needs of others above his own!

3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Again this is a perfect picture of Jesus.

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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