Faith Bible Church of Lake Charles
A Good Example
      • Bible Trivia
        Loading...
  • I'll Fly Away
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  • The Only Name (Yours Will Be)
  • Who You Say I Am
  • Belong to You
  • A Good Example

    Are you a good example? An example of what you ask? An example of a follower of Jesus who humbly serves others. In today’s text we have an example of a man who was a good example.
    Paul and Timothy have a colleague. His name is Epaphroditus. Paul was a “Hebrew of the Hebrews”; Timothy was part Jew and part Gentile (); and Epaphroditus was a full Gentile as far as we know. He was the member of the Philippian church who risked his health and life to carry their missionary offering to the apostle in Rome (). His name means “charming” and a charming Christian he is!
    Let’s look at three qualities that made him a good example.

    He Was a Balanced Christian (25)

    Philippians 2:25 NKJV
    25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
    Paul couldn’t say enough about this man—“My brother, and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier.” These three descriptions parallel what Paul wrote about the Gospel in the first chapter of this letter:
    “my brother”— “the “fellowship in the Gospel” ()
    “my brother”— “the “fellowship in the Gospel” ()
    “my companion in labor”— “the furtherance of the Gospel” ()
    “my companion in labor”— “the furtherance of the Gospel” ()
    “my fellow soldier”— “the faith of the Gospel” ()
    “my fellow soldier”— “the faith of the Gospel” ()
    Epaphroditus was a balanced Christian!
    Epaphroditus was a balanced Christian!
    Balance is important in the Christian life. Some people emphasize “fellowship” so much that they forget the furtherance of the Gospel. Others are so involved in defending the “faith of the Gospel” that they neglect building fellowship with other believers. Epaphroditus did not fall into either of these traps. He was like Nehemiah, the man who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with his sword in one hand and his trowel in the other (). You cannot build with a sword nor battle with a trowel! It takes both to get the Lord’s work accomplished.
    Balance is important in the Christian life. Some people emphasize “fellowship” so much that they forget the furtherance of the Gospel. Others are so involved in defending the “faith of the Gospel” that they neglect building fellowship with other believers. Epaphroditus did not fall into either of these traps. He was like Nehemiah, the man who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with his sword in one hand and his trowel in the other (). You cannot build with a sword nor battle with a trowel! It takes both to get the Lord’s work accomplished.
    Dr. H.A. Ironside used to tell about a group of believers who thought only of “fellowship.” They had little concern for reaching the lost or for defending the faith against its enemies. In front of their meeting place they hung a sign: JESUS ONLY. But the wind blew away some of the letters, and the sign read—US ONLY. It was a perfect description of a group of people who were not balanced Christians.
    We need to be engaged in different areas in order to be well-rounded and not focused on one thing to the detriment of others.

    He Was a Burdened Christian (26-27)

    Dr. H.A. Ironside used to tell about a group of believers who thought only of “fellowship.” They had little concern for reaching the lost or for defending the faith against its enemies. In front of their meeting place they hung a sign: JESUS ONLY. But the wind blew away some of the letters, and the sign read—US ONLY. It was a perfect description of a group of people who were not balanced Christians.
    Philippians 2:26–27 NKJV
    26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 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.
    phil 2:26-27
    Like Timothy, Epaphroditus was concerned about others. To begin with, he was concerned about Paul. When he heard in Philippi that Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he volunteered to make that long, dangerous trip to Rome to stand at Paul’s side and assist him. He carried the church’s love gift with him, protecting it with his own life.
    Our churches today need men and women who are burdened for missions and for those in difficult places of Christian service. “The problem in our churches,” states one missionary leader, “is that we have too many spectators and not enough participants.” Epaphroditus was not content simply to contribute to the offering. He gave himself to help carry the offering!
    Our churches today need men and women who are burdened for missions and for those in difficult places of Christian service. “The problem in our churches,” states one missionary leader, “is that we have too many spectators and not enough participants.” Epaphroditus was not content simply to contribute to the offering. He gave himself to help carry the offering!
    But this man was also burdened for his own home church. After arriving in Rome, he became very ill. In fact, he almost died. This delayed his return to Philippi, and the people there became concerned about him. But Epaphroditus was not burdened about himself; he was burdened over the people in Philippi because they were worried about him! This man lived in , not . Like Timothy, he had a natural concern for others. The phrase “full of heaviness” in is the same description used of Christ in Gethsemane (). Like Christ, Epaphroditus knew the meaning of sacrifice and service (), which are two of the marks of the submissive mind.

    He Was a Blessed Christian (28-30)

    But this man was also burdened for his own home church. After arriving in Rome, he became very ill. In fact, he almost died. This delayed his return to Philippi, and the people there became concerned about him. But Epaphroditus was not burdened about himself; he was burdened over the people in Philippi because they were worried about him! This man lived in , not . Like Timothy, he had a natural concern for others. The phrase “full of heaviness” in is the same description used of Christ in Gethsemane (). Like Christ, Epaphroditus knew the meaning of sacrifice and service (), which are two of the marks of the submissive mind.
    What a tragedy it would be to go through life and not be a blessing to anyone! Epaphroditus was a blessing to Paul. He stood with him in his prison experience and did not permit even his own sickness to hinder his service. What times he and Paul must have had together! But he was also a blessing to his own church. Paul admonishes the church to honor him because of his sacrifice and service. (Christ gets the glory, but there is nothing wrong with the servant receiving honor. Read .) There is no contradiction between (“made Himself of no reputation”) and (“hold such in reputation”). Christ “emptied Himself” in His gracious act of humiliation, and God exalted Him. Epaphroditus sacrificed himself with no thought of reward, and Paul encouraged the church to hold him in honor to the glory of God.
    He was a blessing to Paul and to his own church, and he is also a blessing to us today! He proves to us that the joyful life is the life of sacrifice and service, that the submissive mind really does work. He and Timothy together encourage us to submit ourselves to the Lord, and to one another, in the Spirit of Christ. Christ is the Pattern we follow. Paul shows us the power (); and Timothy and Epaphroditus are the proof that this mind really works.
    He was a blessing to Paul and to his own church, and he is also a blessing to us today! He proves to us that the joyful life is the life of sacrifice and service, that the submissive mind really does work. He and Timothy together encourage us to submit ourselves to the Lord, and to one another, in the Spirit of Christ. Christ is the Pattern we follow. Paul shows us the power (); and Timothy and Epaphroditus are the proof that this mind really works.
    Will you let the Spirit to reproduce “the mind of Christ” in you?
    Will you permit the Spirit to reproduce “the mind of Christ” in you?
      • Philippians 2:25NKJV

      • Philippians 2:26–27NKJV

      • Philippians 2:28–30NKJV

      • Bible Trivia
        Loading...

Let us get to know you!

Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
Age:
How did you hear about us?