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"25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
Philippians 2:25-30 
 
Good Morning Beloved,
 
Welcome! 
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
 
We would like to welcome our beloved brothers and sisters from Belgium, Egypt and South Korea.
It's such a blessing to know the Word of God is continuing to spread through the world.
We're so glad to have all of you here with us today!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mark Twain once said  "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."
When the church in Philippi became aware of Paul's situation, they were deeply troubled by it and decided they wanted to help him. Being imprisoned, he was no longer able to support himself in the ministry. So they sacrificially collected a gift of love from the believers, to send to Paul. Epaphroditus took the money to Paul, however, there was more to it than that. They had instructed him to stay on and be a servant to Paul in the area of his personal matters.
 
Now, as we come to the ending verses of Philippians 2, we have the example of Epaphroditus. Some of you may never have heard of Epaphroditus. That is likely because he is only mentioned here in Philippians chapter 2 and then again briefly in Chapter 4. However, Epaphroditus gives us a great example of Christian dedication and commitment.
 
We know that Epaphroditus was pagan, though we don't know from where, and we know he was converted to Christ, though we don't know in what way. Though it may have been when Paul first founded the church in Philippi.  He must have been a godly man, with outstanding character or the church would not have sent him to Paul. He clearly had the heart of a servant, or they wouldn't have sent him to Paul.  And we determine he was a humble serving godly man. But also, he can determine he was a man of great courage, because he knew what he was walking into. He knew how the Romans felt about Paul for bringing Christianity to Rome, and he knew that Paul may lose his life, while in prison. And if that were to happen, it stands to reason, they would have at least considered taking the lives of those who served alongside of him.
 
In verse 25, Paul writes "But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need,"
 
Paul gives Epaphroditus five titles, in this one verse. He is my brother. He is a fellow worker. He is a fellow soldier.  He is a messenger. He is ministering to Paul's need. The use of the word "my," tells us Paul is speaking in a very personal way, a beloved brother of Paul. He calls him my bother and fellow worker, he's also talking in terms of the ministry, Epaphroditus  serving alongside of Paul. Paul is not looking down on him, but eye to eye, in gracious humility. 
 
Then he calls him my fellow soldier, at least the word my is implied here. I believe this indicates Epaphroditus must have faced some conflict in the ministry while in Rome. Some sort of battle, so as Paul was battling some opposition, its likely so was he.


I don't know about you, but I find it to be refreshing to have someone held up as an example of Christian commitment who is not some kind of superstar. Paul has used Christ, and we acknowledge that Christ is the greatest example of all times in Christian commitment. Yet, we ourselves know, we can never measure up to Christ’s example.  I mean, even Paul’s example is so lofty, so far beyond what we could live up to.

So it is refreshing to have an example like Epaphroditus. Someone ordinary like we are. Yet he is a remarkable example of Christian commitment because Epaphroditus was faithful. That is the key to commitment, faithful service to Jesus.

And he had become a key Christian in the church, a sacrificial man who has left his home, his ministry, his wife and children to serve the apostle Paul. 



 

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