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Carson: “Emulate those who are interested in the well-being of others, not in their own. Be on the alert for Christians who really do exemplify this basic Christian attitude, this habit of helpfulness. They are never the sort who strut their way into leadership with inflated estimates of their own importance. They are the kind who cheerfully pick up after other people. They are not offended if no one asks about them; they are too busy asking about others. They are the kind who are constantly seeking to do good spiritually, to do good materially, to do good emotionally. They are committed to the well-being of others.”


A. (:19-21) The Heart of an Undershepherd of Christ — a Servant to the Flock

1. A Blessing to both Paul and the Philippians

a. faithful in his interaction

“But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly”

b. encouraging in his outlook

“so that I also may be encouraged”

c. accurate in his assessment

“when I learn of your condition”

2. A Kindred Spirit to both Paul and Christ

a. unique in this regard

“For I have no one else of kindred spirit”

Gromacki: “The term ‘like-minded’ (isopsuchon) literally means ‘equal soul.’ Just as Jesus Christ was equal to the Father in deity (2:6), so Timothy was equal to Paul in the characteristics of unity, humility, and concern for others.”

b. genuinely concerned for others

“who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare”

c. totally unselfish

“For they all seek after their own interests”

d. totally committed to Christ Jesus

“not those of Christ Jesus”

B. (:22) The Track Record of Faithful Service

1. Man of Proven Worth

“But you know of his proven worth”

2. True Partner in the Gospel

“that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel”

3. Like a Faithful Son

“like a child serving his father” 1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2

MacArthur: “Model spiritual living demands that you come alongside those who are the fathers, the spiritual fathers and look at them with love and esteem and respect and honor as a little fellow does the father of his love. That alone could heal congregations of immense difficulties.”

C. (:23-24) The Availability to Meet Needs

1. Willing to Serve wherever needed

“Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me”

2. Patterned after the Model of the Apostle Paul Himself

“and I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall be coming shortly”

Barclay: “Timothy’s great use was that, whenever Paul wished for information from some Church, or when he wished to send advice or cousel or encouragement or guidance or rebuke, and when he could not go himself, it was Timothy whom he sent…

The great use of Timothy was that Timothy was a man who could be sent anywhere, and who was always willing to go. In the hands of Timothy a message was as safe as if Paul had delivered it himself. Others might be consumed with selfish ambition, and might be concerned with their own interests alone; but Timothy’s one desire was to serve Paul and to serve Christ in Christ’s Church. Timothy is the patron saint of all those who are quite content with the second place, so long as they can serve.”


A. (:25) A Minister of Great Value (based on his companionship/partnership)

1. To the Apostle Paul Himself

a. “my brother” — Relationship

b. “fellow worker” — Responsibility

c. “fellow soldier” — Resolve

Barclay: “As Lightfoot puts it, Epaphroditus was one with Paul in sympathy, one with him in work, one with him in danger.”

2. To the Philippian Believers

a. “your messenger”

b. “minister to my my need”

Barclay: “The word he uses for servant is the word leitourgos. In secular Greek this was a magnificent word. In the ancient days in the Greek cities there were men who, because they loved their city so much, out of their own resources and at their own expense undertook certain great civic duties. It might be to defray the expenses of an embassy, or the cost of putting on one of the great dramas of the great poets, or of training the athletes who would represent the city in the games, or of fitting out a warship and paying a crew to serve in the navy of the state. These were munificent gifts to the state; such men were the supreme benefactors of the state; and such men were known as leitourgoi.”

B. (:26-27) A Minister of Great Compassion and Mutual Love (based on his companionship/partnership)

1. (:26) With respect to the Philippians

“because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick”

2. (:27) With respect to the Apostle Paul

“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, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

C. (:28-29a) A Minister of Great Joy (based on his companionship/partnership)

“Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly in order that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy”

D. (:29b-30) A Minister of Great Courage and Dedication

“and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.”