Timothy and Ephaphroditus – Living Examples of Phil 2

This section of Philippians was taught at our Vernon Care Group on 5/20/11 —

In Phil 2:19-30  Paul introduces us to two brothers and fellow soldiers in the work of the Gospel – Timothy and Epaphroditus.


  • Still within Paul’s section on encouraging humble service, despite Paul being in jail
  • He introduces 2 associates here, partners in the gospel

Timothy – 2:19-23

  • Timothy
    • Remember, Timothy is with him in Rome – see 1:1
    • He was also known to the Phillipian church as he was on Paul’s missionary journey – see Acts 16:1, 12
    • Timothy is established and 2:22 – you know Timothy’s proven worth, he has served with me in the gospel
    • he hopes to send him in the future, v23 indicates that he is going to send him hopefully with good news about Paul’s trial
    • v24 says that Paul is hopeful he will get out of jail soon
    • So what characteristics does our text say of Timothy:
      • no one like him
      • he will be genuinely concerned for your welfare
      • looks out for other’s interests
      • proven worth
      • faithfully served with Paul
      • We see in Timothy a living example of 2:2-4
      • “…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
        (Philippians 2:2-4 ESV)

Epaphroditus- 2:24-30

  • Epaphroditus
    • Most commentators think Epaphroditus was the one running supplies to Paul in Rome,  this is perhaps where he nearly died.
    • Most commentators think that Epaphroditus hand delivered this letter to the church
    • This is the first time we see him in scripture
    • What does our text tell us about him:
      • brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier
      • messenger
      • minister to Paul’s need
      • he has been longing for you
        • Like 1:8
        • he was ill, near death
        • nearly died for the work of Christ
          • like 2:8
  •  So, why does Paul include all this?
  • Four examples of Jesus’ mindset[1]
    • Jesus (2:5-9) – thought of obedience to the Father and his will above his own. (Luke 22:42)
    • Paul (2:17-18) – even though he may very well die for the work of the gospel, he is thinking of the Philippian church and encouraging them in Christ
    • Timothy (2:19-24) – known as thinking of others above himself
    • Epaphroditus (2:25-30) – is obedient, nearly to the point of death, for the sake of the gospel of Jesus
  • Piper calls this mind of Christ the “Two-Four Factor”  – after Phil 2:4 —    “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
    (Philippians 2:4 ESV)
  • Do we have the “Two-Four factor”?

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