October 22, 2014-"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
-Paul had already sent Timothy prior to his arrest to the region of Macedonia. (Acts 19:22)
-Paul returned to Philippi prior to his arrest in Jerusalem, and he took many individuals from the region of Macedonia with him to accompany him in his ministry. (Acts 20:1-6)
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,
1. The Fellow Necessity
-"I have thought" (ἡγησάμην) is a mathematical term that refers to a well-reasoned conclusion, in much the same way that one would arrive at the solution to an equation through careful mathematical work.
-To be able to think in a careful way such as Paul was doing, wisdom and experience and required. (Exodus 18:1; Deuteronomy 1:13-15)
-To be able to think in a careful manner comes through wisdom and experience in truth. (Proverbs 15:28; Proverbs 16:23)
-Wisdom is gained through the fear of the Lord (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10), a devotion of the Scriptures (Psalm 119:98; 2 Timothy 3:15; Psalm 119:30), the power of the Holy Spirit (Exodus 31:1-5; John 16:13) and ultimately salvation in Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:28-31 )
-Experience is gained through a lifetime of seeing the Lord work all things for His glory and our good. (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 28:14; Psalm 73:23-24)
-Throughout Scripture, men walked in the truth because of their deep intellectual reliance in the things of God in the supremacy of Christ. (Hebrews 11:24-27; Daniel 7:16-18; Joshua 24:15)
-Paul expressed the reason for this consideration in Philippians 2:26-28.
-Paul had both wisdom ministering to people through the power of the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:7), for he had walked with Christ (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21) and relied fully on Him in terms of his intellect. (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)
-"Necessary" (ἀναγκαῖον) means "what is required by the condition of things."
-To know what is required by the condition of things means to be discerning. (Philippians 1:9-10; Colossians 2:8)
-To know what is required by the condition of things means to be knowledgeable. (Proverbs 2:1-5; Proverbs 18:15)
-Paul knew what was necessary for the Philippians because of his love for them. (Philippians 1:6-7)
2. The Fellow Brother
-"Epaphroditus" means "charming; lovely", for it stems from the idea of belonging to Aphrodite.
-"Brother" (ἀδελφὸν) refers to the relationship of Paul with Epaphroditus.
-To be a brother means to be in the same family. (Genesis 4:1-2)
-To be a brother means to have the same progenitors. (Genesis 6:9-10; Exodus 6:20)
-To be a brother means to be related by blood. (Genesis 4:9-10)
-To be a brother means to have the same background. (Genesis 47:1-3)
-Paul frequently referred to individuals as his brothers in the Lord. (Colossians 4:15;
-Christians have the same Father. (Malachi 2:10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6)
-Christians are related to each other by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 10:19-22)
-Christians have been born again by the same Spirit. (John 3:1-3; Titus 3:5)
-Christians are part of the same family--the family of God. (Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 3:15)
-Christians have the same background: they were once sinners who were condemned and unclean (John 3:18; Romans 3:23), who are now heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7) saved solely by the imputed righteousness of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 John 4:9) in justification by faith alone (Romans 3:20; Romans 3:28).
3. The Fellow Worker
-"Fellow worker" (συνεργὸν) refers to a loyal partnership and a shared synergy.
-Paul had many fellow workers in his ministry, such as Archippus (Colossians 4:17), Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Barnabas (Acts 13:1-4), Carpus (2 Timothy 4:13), Erastus (Acts 19:22), Gaius (Acts 20:4), Luke (Colossians 4:14), Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18) Urbane (Romans 16:2), Tertius (Romans 16:22)
-Junia (Romans 16:7), Onesimus (Philemon), Epaphras (Colossians 4:12) were fellow prisoners with Paul in Rome.
-Luke (Colossians 4:14), Demus (Philemon 1:24), Timothy (Philippians 1:1-2) were fellow workers present with Paul in Rome.
-To be a fellow worker means to work for the same master. (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13)
-To be a fellow worker means to do the same labor. (Acts 18:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:14)
-Christ commands His disciples to do the work of God. (1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 Corinthians 16:10)
-The work of God is to rightly divide the Word of truth. (Acts 18:28; 2 Timothy 2:15)
-The work of God is to work in the task of spreading the message of the Gospel. (Matthew 9:38; John 4:35)
-We are to be loyal partners with fellow workers of the Lord. (Joshua 1:16-18; Ruth 1:16-17)
-Our combined efforts possess a synergy through the power of the Spirit of God. (Acts 14:24-28; Acts 17:10-11)
-Our work of God will be rewarded by Christ when He returns (Isaiah 40:10; Revelation 22:12), just as Paul said. (2 Timothy 4:8)
4. The Fellow Soldier
-"Fellow soldier" (συστρατιώτην) refers to that of the comradeship of soldiers standing side by side in battle as they together face the onslaught of the enemy.
-A fellow soldier fought under the name of the same ruler. (2 Samuel 5:1-10; 2 Samuel 23:8)
-A fellow soldier served in the same war. (2 Chronicles 12:1-5)
-A fellow soldier faced the same enemy. (2 Chronicles 14:9-15)
-A fellow soldier fought with the same weapons. (Judges 20:16; 1 Chronicles 12:1-2)
-A fellow soldier fought with the same motivations. (2 Samuel 10:12; Nehemiah 4:14)
-A fellow soldier had to be surrounded by other soldiers during a battle in order to survive. (2 Samuel 11:14-17)
-The Lord is the Warrior who wins every battle. (Exodus 15:3; Revelation 17:14)
-Jesus Christ is the Commander of the Lord's army. (Numbers 31:6-7; Joshua 5:13-15)
-Jesus Christ is the King of the Lord's army. (Jeremiah 23:5; Revelation 19:11-14)
-The soldiers of God are called to fight the battles the Lord had commissioned them to fight. (Joshua 1:1-9; 1 Timothy 6:12)
-The soldiers of God face the enemies present in the devil (2 Corinthians 2:10-11; 1 Peter 5:8), spiritual powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12-13), unbelievers (Ephesians 2:1-2), and indwelling sin. (Ephesians 4:17; Ephesians 5:8)
-The soldiers of God fight with the same offensive weapon: the Word of God through the Spirit of God. (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)
-The soldiers of God look to the victory that their Commander and King promises them (2 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:57), for the soldiers of God will always conquer. (Romans 8:37; 1 John 5:4)
5. The Fellow Messenger
-"Messenger" (ἀπόστολον) refers to one who is dispatched with a particular message to a particular people. The word apostolos was used in secular Greek to refer to the ships in naval fleets sent out on mission or of cargo ships sent to deliver goods to a seaport.
-Epaphroditus was a native of Philippi who was their messenger. He was dispatched by the Philippians to send Paul their financial gift (Philippians 2:29-30), and he likely also served as their pastor, as well.
-A messenger would be commissioned by an individual to relay a given message. (Exodus 9:1; Mark 16:15)
-A messenger would be dispatched to herald news of what had occurred. (2 Samuel 18:19-23)
-A messenger would be very focused in ensuring he successfully relayed the news he was commissioned with. (2 Samuel 18:24-25; Proverbs 13:17)
-A messenger needed to be trustworthy in accurately reporting the message. (2 Samuel 18:28-32)
-A messenger would be dispatched to relay news of what would occur. (1 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 5:10)
-To be a messenger of God was to be given His word to speak to a particular people. (Isaiah 6:8-9)
-To be a messenger of God was to be given a message to be proclaimed regardless of the reception by the audience. (Ezekiel 2:1-7)
-A messenger would be a forerunner of an individual who was to arrive. (Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:1-4)
-To be a messenger of God is to faithfully and fully relay the message of Scripture. (Deuteronomy 18:18; Acts 3:18-26)
-Like Epaphroditus, we are called to be messengers of God in the proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Romans 10:9)
6. The Fellow Minister
-"Minister" (λειτουργὸν) refers to one performing priestly service. In Greek culture, it could also refer to those who performed philanthropic efforts for their cities, such as paying embassy expenses or putting on dramas for poets or putting up money for the training of local athletes.
-To be a minister in the Hebrew context meant to perform service sacred to God. (1 Samuel 12:24; Romans 7:6)
-To be a minister in the Hebrew context meant to be a priest of God. (Exodus 19:5-6; Exodus 30:30)
-To be a minister in the Hebrew context meant to offer right sacrifices to God. (Leviticus 14:9; Leviticus 14:19)
-To be a minister in the Greek context meant to contribute monetarily to a cause. (1 Chronicles 29:1-5)
-To be a minister in the Greek context meant that the individual would earn a reputation for doing good. (Proverbs 22:1; 1 Peter 2:12)
-To be a minister in the Greek context meant to do what best served the wellbeing of others.
-We are a kingdom of priests of God through Christ Jesus our King (Revelation 1:4-8).
-We are to offer acceptable sacrifices of worship and service to God. (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:17-18)
-We are to give financially to causes of the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
-We are to have a reputation of doing good to the glory of God. (Matthew 5:16; John 15:8)
-We are to look well to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 15:1)
-"My need" specifies the capacity that Epaphroditus served the apostle Paul in.
-The Philippians had already sacrificially given to Paul's ministry before his imprisonment. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
-The apostle Paul's need in context was that of providing payments for the house in which he was incarcerated under guard, for he paid two years of rent during his imprisonment in Rome. (Acts 28:30-31)
-"At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (2 Timothy 4:16-18)