EPAPHRODITUS: PAUL’S FRIEND. AN ORDINARY MAN WHO WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY SERVANT<br />June 13, 2010<br />Philippians 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 <br />“I supposed it necessary,” says the blessed apostle, “to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier, but your messenger and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the more carefully, that when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation, because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me” (Phil. 2: 25-30).<br />This little known Christian servant with an extraordinary name is found only in this epistle. Paul’s friend.<br />Those who gave us an example of spiritual Christian servants. <br /><ul><li>Possess the mind of Christ
Selfless, willingly, in pleasant obedience serve the local church in the body of Christ for the cause of Christ.
PaulTimothy Epaphroditus</li></ul>Many sit at the table, many sing the hymn, few fast, few pray and few watch. Epaphroditus was not one of them.<br /><ul><li>He is almost normal. Not an Apostle, not an Elder, not a Statesman, simply a normal common man.
He was like Paul or Timothy, he was not a pastor/teacher. He was just like many of you.</li></ul>Paul is calling us to a strong Christian commitment. Living out our salvation, and doing it without complaining and with humility.<br /><ul><li>Paul exemplified the mind of Christ
Timothy illustrated the unselfish pastor and associate
Epaphriditus the devoted messenger.</li></ul>WHAT DOE WE KNOW ABOUT THIS MAN.<br />Here we see the place which Epaphroditus filled in this blessed business. There lay the beloved apostle in his prison at Rome, and there lay the loving offering of the saints at Philippi. But how was it to be conveyed to him? These were not the days of banks checks and post-office money orders. No, nor of railway traveling. It was no easy matter to get from Philippi to Rome in those days. But Epaphroditus, that dear, unpretending, self-surrendering servant of Christ, presented himself to supply the missing link, to do the very thing that was needed and nothing more; to be the channel of communication between the assembly at Philippi and the apostle at Rome. Deep and real as was the apostle's need, precious and seasonable as was the Philippians' gift, yet an instrument was needed to bring them both together, and Epaphroditus offered himself for the work. There was a manifest need and he filled it. He did not aim at doing some great showy thing, something which would make him very prominent and cause his name to be blazed abroad as some wonderful person. Ah! no, Epaphroditus was not one of the pushing, self-confident, extensive class. He was a dear, self-hiding, lowly servant of Christ, one of that class of workmen to whom we are irresistibly attracted. Nothing is more charming than an unpretending, retiring man who is content just to fill the empty niche; to render the needed service, whatever it is; to do the work cut out for him by the Master's hand. C H Mackintosh<br /><ul><li>He was a man of humility.
He left his home, friends, family, employment, ministry, church to serve the apostle Paul</li></ul>He was a man of genuine spiritual virtue. One of depth as to his devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was likely a Deacon, with a servant heart.<br />A man who thinks much of himself saves others the trouble of thinking about him. <br /><ul><li>But the lowly, the humble, the modest, the unpretending, the retiring, the self-emptied, who think of and live for others, who walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, these are the persons to be thought of and cared for, loved and honored, as they ever will be by God and His people. </li></ul>WHO DO YOU THINK THE CHURCH A PHILIPPI WOULD SEND TO MEET PAUL’S NEEDS?<br />Titles Paul Gives this man<br />1A“MY BROTHER” (80) 2 Corinthians 2:13, 8:22; Philemon 1:1 “common sympathy.” Fellow Christians.<br />He demonstrated the same concerns as Paul’s, in his toil and drive in the work for the Lord. <br />2A“COMPANION IN LABOUR” Philippians 4:3; I Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Colossians 1:7’ Romans 16:3; <br />Fellow-worker. Co-Worker, a laboring saint together with Paul.<br />3A“FELLOW-SOLDIER” Philippians 2:24; Philemon 1:2.<br />A common danger and endurance of hardship with one another. The term “strategia” we get strategist. Equal with the general. My fellow strategist in the matter of spiritual warfare.<br />TAKING THE RISK OF LIFE FOR THE WORK OF CHRIST<br />June 20, 2010<br />From Paul’s Point of View about Epaphroditus<br />V s. 25 My brother<br /><ul><li>In the spiritual term. Fellow-Christian. A strong vital relationship. A common interest, common love and common life.</li></ul>Vs. 25 Companion in Labour<br /><ul><li>Fellow-worker. There is little work in the church today. Few dedicated Christians</li></ul>Vs. 25Fellow-soldier: <br /><ul><li>My fellow strategist in the matter of spiritual warfare. Shoulder to shoulder
The fellowship in conflicts, victories, disciplines of the Christian life
The honor of being associated with Paul and his sufferings
The common danger and endurance of hardship with others for the cause of Christ.</li></ul>Now from the Philippians point of view<br /> Vs 25 He is your messenger: You’re delegated. <br />Vs. 25 He was to minister to Paul’s wants<br /><ul><li>Public servant. Romans 12:13; Phil 4:16; Acts 20:34
He was to be viewed as one who acted in behalf of the church and God.</li></ul>Vs 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send him back.<br /><ul><li>“The unselfish Christian spirit. </li></ul>Why did Paul send him back?<br />Vs. 26 He longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because you have heard that he had been sick.<br /><ul><li>Was he homesick? No. He’s distressed of mind, heart and profound agony overwhelmed in his soul. Why? He is really upset. Shows a character of great sensitivity and tenderness.</li></ul>Vs. 26 and was full of heaviness, because you have heard that he had been sick.<br /><ul><li>He was sad because the church was sad about him and his sickness
We today get upset over things, not usually over people.
Paul had such compassion for him he had to send him back.
It’s nice to know some are compelled by relationship more than programs.</li></ul>Vs 27 He was sick nigh unto death. <br /><ul><li>He would most likely have made light of his illness. Paul said this is really serious. He wasn’t near death himself but he was upset because you were upset.
Philippi was about 800 miles from Rome. About a six week trip. He might have also gotten Roman fever.</li></ul>Vs 27 But God had mercy on him. And had mercy on Paul too.<br /><ul><li>God healed him.
Paul was glad he had not died in Rome.</li></ul>Vs 27 Lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.<br /><ul><li>Grief upon grief. The pain in Paul’s heart, personal mental distress
Paul deeply loved a servant of the Church and of Jesus Christ.</li></ul>Vs. 28I have therefore<br /><ul><li>I send him with special urgency.</li></ul>Vs 28 send him the more carefully<br />Vs.28That, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and I less sorrowful<br /><ul><li>Paul felt deeply about his own. Paul loved his people and the bond was deep.</li></ul>Note: The church didn’t ask for Epaphroditus. He didn’t ask to go back to Philippi. Paul was not complaining about him either. <br /><ul><li>Humility demonstrated.No complaining was shown.
Working out salvation in the purest way shown. The whole scene is one of affection, love, unselfish concern, and seeking to comfort someone else.</li></ul>TODAY’S MOTTO: My needs are more important than theirs<br />Vs 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness<br /><ul><li>Welcome him home. Receive him favorably, and with honor. Why?</li></ul>Vs 30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death.<br /><ul><li>What kind of death do you come near? Death doing for the work of Christ? </li></ul>Vs. 30Not regarding his life to supply your lack of service toward me.<br /><ul><li>He had little regard for his life in his service for the church and Paul.