Philippians (08): The Glory of the Insignificant

Date: 9/9/2012
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: significance
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Philippians (08): The Glory of the Insignificant

Philippians 2:18–30 -   2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 2:20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 2:21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 2:22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 2:23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 2:24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. 2:25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 2:26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 2:27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 2:28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 2:29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 2:30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

In this last part of Phil. 2, Paul provides some details about the ministry and travel plans. He desires to return to the church himself, if possible. He also will send faithful Timothy who is genuinely concerned about them. Also, Epaphroditus who probably fell ill on the road from Philippi to Rome, was finally able to reach Paul, though it nearly cost him his life. Epaphroditus was sent back to the church because he would bring joy to the congregation there.  The lessons in this passage are not obvious. We glean from Paul’s writing his belief in Christ being in control of his circumstances (v19). The bonds of love that bind Paul and Timothy. The heroic effort of Epaphroditus to serve the church and Paul in the work of Christ. The larger lesson is to note that individual people are woven into the story of the gospel. The Bible is not a book of abstract philosophy or lists of rules. It is the story of God’s redemption of people and therefore people are important. The stories of Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus are threads in the tapestry of the gospel story. Moreover, from this we can remember that our lives are also part of the fabric.

 

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more