EPAPHRODITUS: PAUL'S FRIEND. AN ORDINARY MAN WHO WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY SERVANT
"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).
This little known Christian servant with an extraordinary name is found only in this epistle. Paul's friend.
Those who gave us an example of spiritual Chrisitan servants.
- Possess the mind of Christ
- Selfless, willingly, in pleasant obedient serve the local church in the body of Christ for the cause of Christ.
- Paul Timothy Epaphriditus
- Paul Timothy Epaphriditus
Many set at the table, many sing the hymn, few fast, few pray and few watch. Epaphriditus was not one of them.
- He is almost normal. Not an Apostle, not an Elder, not a Statement, simply a normal common man.
- He was like Paul or Timothy, he was not a pastor/teacher. He was just like many of you.
Paul is calling us to a strong Christian commitment. Living out our salvation And doing it without complaining and with humility.
- Paul exemplified the mind of Christ
- Timothy illustrated the unselfish pastor and Assoc.
- Epaphriditus the devoted messenger.
WHAT DOE WE KNOW ABOUT THIS MAN.
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
- He was a man of humility.
- He was a godly servant.
- He was a man of great courage.
- He was a man who could be trusted.
- He was a key Christian in the church
- He was a sacrificial man in the church.
- He left his home, friends, family, employment, ministry, church to serve the apostle Paul
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.
A man who thinks much of himself saves others the trouble of thinking about him.
- 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.
WHO DO YOU THANK THE CHURCH A PHILIPP WOULD SEND TO MEET PAUL'S NEEDS?
Titles Paul Gives this man
1A "MY BROTHER"
(80) 2 Corinthians 2:13, 8:22; Philemon 1:1 "common sympathy." Fellow Christians.
He demonstrated the same concerns as Paul's, in his toil and drive in the work for the Lord.
2A "COMPANION IN LABOUR" Philippians 4:3; I Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Colossians 1:7' Romans 16:3;
Fellow-worker. Co-Worker, A laboring saint together with Paul.
3A "FELLOW-SOLIDER" Philippians 2:24; Philemon 1:2.
A common danger and endurance of hardship with one another. The term "strategia" we get strategist. Equal with the general. My fellow stragistis in the matter of spiritual warfare.