Summary: Paul wanted the Philippians to see two shining examples... one clergy and the other a layman, to share with them that God uses ALL people as long as they are willing and obedient!
Date Written: August 19, 2011
Date Preached: August 21, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from Philippians
Sermon Title: Fellow Soldiers in Christ
Sermon Text: Philippians 2:19-30 [ESV]
Just what does it mean when we SAY we are going to serve God? How important is serving God in our lives? There are many of us who can talk a good game when we SAY we will serve God, but I want us to be brutally honest with ourselves this morning, so very many of us simply do NOT serve like we SAY we are going to serve, we fall FAR short of what we know God has called us to do…myself included.
Preacher what you are saying is true, but what can I do about it? What does it REALLY mean to surrender to Christ and serve Him with abandon…what does it REALLY mean to WALK the TALK as Paul has challenged us to do…
Well as Paul has done before, he provides us with 2 excellent examples of believers who have surrendered to Christ and they LIVED out their faith… they WALKED the TALK in a world where many fellow believers actually put themselves first before serving God!
Who were these men? Paul tells us in v.19-30 of this chapter, Paul lifts up both Timothy and Epaphroditus as servants who have surrendered all and are WALKING the TALK and living out their faith with abandon! So this morning I want us to take a look at what Paul lets us know about these two warriors of the faith… we will look at Timothy first!
0The Called Minister (Timothy) v.19-22:
Show verses 19-22 here…I will read
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.
In this verse there are a few phrases worthy of us to look into… the first is the very first
v.19 – ‘I hope in the Lord’ Paul was NOT sending this letter OR making any plans on his own accord, but he was fully submitted to be obedient in accordance to God’s will. Paul was not going to do anything outside of God’s will, that is what he sought and that is what he did.
Paul then said, ‘to send Timothy to you’ and the implication here from Paul is that Timothy is a willing servant… wherever God desires him to serve, he is willing and in full submission to God’s authority and to Paul whom God placed over him as a spiritual leader…Timothy’s heart was one focused on service and obedience.
Paul then goes on to say, ‘I too may be cheered by news of you’ How many of us like good news? How many of us have been in a place in our lives where we longed for good news?
Although Paul was serving God willingly and fully content in where he was, it does not mean it was NOT a struggle for him. I am sure daily he heard and saw things that brought him low, and news of the churches he had planted was always something that could lift his spirits… he had already heard things from Epaphroditus, but wanted a more in-depth review of what was happening, so he wanted to send Timothy, and he just knew that the news from Philippi would cheer him beyond words… Here he is simply looking forward to that news returning to him…
There was a reason why Paul wanted to send Timothy… first he was a partner in ministry with Paul and he knew Timothy would come back and give him all the news from Philippi, but Paul also knew Timothy’s character and his spirit and this is why he says what he says in v.20…
20For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.
v.20 – ‘for I have no one like him’ Paul was very close to Timothy and Paul knew Timothy’s heart and motives because of this close relationship and Paul knew that sending Timothy was just like going himself.
He had other workers, other believers but had not been as faithful or had not proven well in walking worthy of their calling as many of them had either abandoned Paul in a time of need because of selfish reasons or they had used the ministry for personal gain… In Paul’s mind, Timothy was the only one he believed could be sent and get the job done… this was all because of Timothy’s character!