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Quits Sabio
Elder at Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church Inc. and President of Reformed Exegetes Society
User since 2013
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The first Christmas happened in order to establish God's kingdom through His Son Jesus Christ.
Haggai 2:20-23
When He who is clean, namely the Lord Jesus Christ, touched us, we are made clean
Haggai 2:10-19
For all of his bigness, our God has a remarkable love for the small. - Scott Hubbard
Haggai 2:1-9
We should align our priorities with God's priorities, because only when we do so we can be truly satisfied.
Haggai 1:1-15
Where there is hope, there is life (and faith and love) - J. Scott Duvall
Colossians 1:4-5
To walk worthy of our calling is not to call attention to our own worth but to show the worth of our calling
Ephesians 4:1-6
How does a soul magnify the Lord?
Luke 1:39-56
The Death that Delivers From Fear of Death
Hebrews 2:5-15
What is a fruitful life?
John 15:1-7
How can God make much of us and still be for Himself?
Ephesians 1:3-14
Elect Exiles According To The Foreknowledge Of The Father, In The Sanctification Of The Spirit, For Blood Bought Obedience To Jesus
1 Peter 1:1-2
Christian Hospitality Covers a Multitude  of Sin
1 Peter 4
No one can take away your joy from you - Jesus
John 16:16-22
True knowledge about God will result in true love for others.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
In sin we were dead but in Chirst we were made alive.
Ephesians 2:1-10
To be under the Mosaic law again is not only childish, but also devilish and damning.
Galatians 4:8-11
Beware of working for God! Instead, gladly obey God as our Father and not as our taskmaster.
Galatians 4:1-7
The law serves the promise until the coming of the seed
Galatians 3:19-22
The Law cannot nullify the Promise
Galatians 3:15-18
Law demands a life of perfect obedience, but Faith demands a life of faith in Christ's act of redemption alone
Galatians 3:9-14
Faith is the spiritual DNA by which our familial relationship to Abraham can be proven.
Galatians 3:6-9
We can't start with the Spirit and then end with the flesh
Galatians 3:1-5
What is dying to the law and living to God?
Galatians 2:15-21
Lead others to the truth of the gospel not just with propositions but also with our actions.
Galatians 2:11-14
How important that there is only one gospel?
Galatians 2:1-10
What are you hoping for?
Psalm 42:11
No other gospel that brings glory to God than the gospel of grace that transforms its messenger
Galatians 1:18-24
If you want to please God, seek what pleases Him, namely the preaching of Christ
Galatians 1:11-17
Want some peace of mind? So Pray!
Philippians 4:6-7
What brings understanding, our thinking or God's granting?
2 Timothy 2:7
What it means to be a slave of Christ?
Galatians 1:10
To desert from the Gospel is to desert away from God
Galatians 1:6-9
Seek God's approval and not the approval of men
Galatians 1:1-5
God gets more glory when more people rely on Him for contentment in times of need.
Philippians 4:10-20
Standing Firm in the Lord demonstrates itself in unity, peacekeeping, rejoicing in the Lord always and forbearance toward one another
Philippians 4:1-9
Resurrection is a means to lay hold of the prize who is Christ Jesus so strive to attain it since He already laid hold of you
Philippians 3:12-21
Jesus came into the world to exegete the Father
John 1:1-18
God is more glorified in us when we enjoy him than when we fear him
Luke 2:8-20
The supremacy of the worth of Christ outweighs all things, and that includes all human boastings!
Philippians 3:1-11
Seeking the interest of Christ is seeking the interest of others above one's own
Philippians 2:19-24
What is the secret to a grumble free life and happy pastors?
Philippians 2:14-16
God is not wasting our suffering,  we shouldn't also
Philippians 1:12-18
How to work out your own Salvation?
Philippians 2:12-18
Motivations for Obedience
Philippians 2:12-13
Christ Emptied himself by Adding
Philippians 2:6-7
Christian unity delights itself in the interest of others
Philippians 2:1-5
To Know Christ is to have the will of the Father
John 7:17-18
Find your Joy in God in the joy of your leaders and the flock
Hebrews 13:17
The Church Abides to Chirst so should Wives to their Husbands. Christ never forsake His Church, so should Husbands to their Wives
Ephesians 5:22-33
Herald the word even if your life is at stake
2 Timothy 4:2
Any talk of gender roles and equality must be grounded on creation.
1 Corinthians 11:7-12
There is Joy in praying for the sanctification of our brethren!
Philippians 1:3-11
Since God is righteous, God must elect according to his own freedom
Romans 9:14-18
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Risk for Greater Joy
Philippians 2:25-30
Risking for Jesus will yield greater returns
Published November 18th, 2018; Updated November 19th, 2018
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Main point summary
Main point summary
It is more necessary to send Epaphroditus than Timothy because the latter will only benefit the Philippians but the former will be for the mutual joy of everyone.
Philippians 2:25-30
Ἀναγκαῖον δὲ ἡγησάμην Ἐπαφρόδιτον
But for now 20 I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you.
But I thought it necessary to send to you a Epaphroditus,
τὸν ἀδελφὸν
For he is my brother, 21
my brother
καὶ συνεργὸν
and b fellow worker
καὶ συστρατιώτην μου,
and fellow soldier,
and c fellow soldier,
ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον
and your messenger 22
who is also your 1 d messenger
καὶ λειτουργὸν τῆς χρείας μου, πέμψαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς,
and minister 23 to me in my need. 24
and a minister to my need;
ἐπειδὴ ἐπιποθῶν ἦν πάντας ὑμᾶς
Indeed, he greatly missed all of you
because he was longing 1 for you all
καὶ ἀδημονῶν,
and was distressed
and was distressed
διότι ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἠσθένησεν.
because you heard that he had been ill.
because you had heard that he was sick.
καὶ γὰρ ἠσθένησεν παραπλήσιον θανάτῳ•
In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. 25
For indeed he was sick to the point of death,
ἀλλʼ ὁ θεὸς ἠλέησεν αὐτόν,
But God showed mercy to him -
but God had mercy on him,
οὐκ αὐτὸν δὲ μόνον
and not to him only,
and not on him only
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐμέ,
but also to me -
but also on me,
ἵνα μὴ λύπην ἐπὶ λύπην σχῶ.
so that I would not have grief on top of grief.
so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.
σπουδαιοτέρως οὖν ἔπεμψα αὐτόν,
Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, 26
Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly
ἵνα ἰδόντες αὐτὸν πάλιν
so that when you see him again
so that when you see him again
you can rejoice 27
you may rejoice
κἀγὼ ἀλυπότερος ὦ.
and I can be free from anxiety.
and I may be less concerned about you.
προσδέχεσθε οὖν αὐτὸν ἐν κυρίῳ μετὰ πάσης χαρᾶς
So welcome him in the Lord with great joy,
a Receive him then in the Lord with all joy,
καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους ἐντίμους ἔχετε,
and honor people like him,
and b hold men like him in high regard;
ὅτι διὰ τὸ ἔργον Χριστοῦ μέχρι θανάτου ἤγγισεν
since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died.
because he came close to death 1 a for the work of Christ,
παραβολευσάμενος τῇ ψυχῇ,
He risked his life
risking his life
ἵνα ἀναπληρώσῃ τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα τῆς πρός με λειτουργίας.
so that he could make up for your inability to serve me. 28
to b complete 2 what was deficient in your service to me.
Celebritism verse 25a But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. After his commendation of Timothy and expression of desire to send him soon(Philippians 2:19-24), Paul deemed it necessary to send Epaphroditus instead. The necessity is highlighted by the use of the greek conjunction "δὲ" translated "but" in verse 25. By giving them all the reasons to want a caliber like that of Timothy, who sitted under the tutelage of Paul, to visit the Philippian church that he founded himself, he's telling them that it is still more necessary to send Epaphroditus. Oh how we all want to sit under the teachings of such men. Men faithful to the gospel like Timothy. We admire the Pipers, the MacArthurs and the Sprouls of the world and want to learn from them, but sometimes it is more necessary to learn from an unknown pastor, servant, and perhaps not even an elder or preacher in a church, like that of Epaphroditus. People ordained by God for us to be with, rub elbows with, and to work side by side with for the progress of our joy in faith. Now don't get me wrong. I love those guys I mentioned earlier. I learned and still is learning a lot from them. But they don't know me, nor my wife, my daughter, my family, let alone how I live. No amount of their memes, sound bites, podcasts, and sermons on social media can nurture me if I can't even learn from someone that I'm with. Just recently, someone posted a question on facebook asking who among these two theologian is more influential. The comment section is full of tirades not only against each other's champions but also against their patrons. The question should've been are you so influenced by the teachings of your less known, yet bible saturated pastor that you would not concern yourself with such questions that only breed strife, conceit, contempt and division among the people of God. I'm talking about questions that promote one upmanship. Paul here will not allow that kind of mindset. He taught us that in humility we should treat others more significant than ourselves(Philippians 2:3-4). Not counting Jesus, Paul probably is the best model of such humility. He put Epaphroditus in equal footing with himself and Timothy by calling him his brother, coworker and fellow soldier. So I can just imagine Paul's reaction if someone would ask who's more influential, Timothy or Epaphroditus. I hate celebritism! God ordained that we should learn primarily from other bible saturated people, most specially under the care of a biblical, faithful loving pastors that you're with, in the context of a local church. Not celebrity pastors and theologians! Others think that if you want to have an influence in their lives you must have a degree, credentials, prestige, and enough following. That's why pride driven pastors aspire to attain such. No longer because of deep and selfless concern for their people. Todd Wilson said; "To possess a degree does not make one a pastor theologian; it doesn't even make one a theologian, much less a pastor. But we live in a credential-obsessed society, where unless you've got a dozen letters behind your name, you're a nobody, certainly not a pastor theologian." That came from someone who had his PhD from Cambridge University. O thers have their great educational backgrounds but with zero concern for the interest of the flock. Epaphroditus however, had pastoral care hundreds more than some pastors with M.divs or PhDs. Again, Timothy was beneficial for the Philippians, and he's selfless too, yet Epaphroditus was more necessary. Who was Epaphroditus and why Paul considered it necessary to send him then? Who was Epaphroditus? Epaphroditus (̓Επαφρόδιτος, later come to mean “handsome, charming”). He's a member of the church at Philippi who brought an offering to Paul when the apostle was imprisoned in Rome ( Phil. 2:25–30 ; 4:18 ). His Greek name (A compound noun, from the preposition "Epi" + the greek Goddess' name "Aphrodite", which means a devotee of Aphrodite, or favoured by Aphrodite or belonging to Aphrodite) was common and indicates a non-Jewish or pagan origin. It was also common in a contracted form, Epaphras, but there is no reason to identify Epaphroditus with the Epaphras from Colosse ( Col. 1:7 ; 4:12 ). It was not certain if he was an officer or not. One thing is certain though, he was commissioned to deliver the church’s offering to Paul ( Phil. 4:18 ) and to stay and help him ( 2:25 , 30 ). Epaphroditus is someone we can easily identify with. He is the layman's hero so to speak. He's not an Apostle like Paul and unlike Timothy, he didn't train under Paul. He's just a common man. In fact his name was so common that you can easily confuse him with someone else. You might say that the command to look for the interest of others is so unrealistic. Only the likes of Jesus, Paul and Timothy can obey this command. But here Paul gave us Epaphroditus as an example of someone whom we can imitate. We don't have to look somewhere to find someone worth imitating. Epaphroditus' Unheard of Credentials verse 25b - 25f For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need. Paul didn't start with "you know his proven worth" like that of Timothy(Philippians 2:22), instead Paul was appealing first from his personal relations with the man, and second with how Epaphroditus' service to Paul relates with the Philippians. Take note that mou (my) and humon (your) come together in sharp contrast. In relation to Paul The threefold description of Epaphroditus as Paul’s “brother,” “fellow worker,” and “fellow soldier” uses figures of speech relating to family, labor, and battle. According to James Montgomery Boice; "These phrases are arranged to make a crescendo climaxing in the last phrase, the phrase dealing with Epaphroditus’s ministry on behalf of the Philippian Christians. It is as if a nominating speech were being given at a political convention and the person making it were to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a man who is prominent in the affairs of his city, a successful lawyer, a distinguished civil servant, former governor of the state, the distinguished vice president of the United States, and the next president of the United States.” The eulogy builds towards that climax." Note one article ton (the) with the three titles given in an ascending scale (Lightfoot). Epaphroditus was not just a brother, a coworker, and a fellow soldier. He's the brother of mine, the coworker of mine, and the fellow soldier of mine. His brother (adelphon, common love). He may not be a brother of Paul in the physical sense, but he's a brother born from above by the Spirit. The bond between believers is more precious than that of our physical families. His fellow-worker (sunergon, common work). The greek prefix "sun" or "syn" means together(i.e. synchronize or timed together), and "energon" means work. Epaphroditus works with and for Paul. Take note that the word work is the same greek word used for God's work in us (Philippians 2:12-13). Epaphroditus is energizing Paul for God's work. His fellow-soldier (sunstratioten, common danger as in Phm 1:2 ). The title is no ordinary title. It is given only to those who fought valiantly side by side with their comrades in the frontlines. When Epaphroditus attend to Paul's needs, he was also at risk in the battle against not only persecutions from people but also the forces of darkness. Specially his inner demons reminding him of the comfort of his home. He should've been at home and not risking his life. But when Jesus our commander-in-chief ushered in his kingdom through his death, Epaphroditus will go to the frontlines if summoned. In relation to the Philippians Now with all of these commendations and praise from Paul himself, that same man is a lowly man. He was their messenger and servant and yet Paul used highly exalted word to describe this man's service. Their Messenger (apostolon). See 2Co 8:23 for this use of apostolos as messenger (missionary). Epaphroditus was a messenger from the Philippians and he will return as an emissary of the Apostle. Yes he was not an apostle in the same sense as Paul. The distinction lies on who sent the apostle. Epaphroditus was sent by the church, Paul was sent by Christ. However when Epaphroditus returns, he returns as an emissary of the Apostle. In so far as he's carrying Paul's message, he was speaking on behalf of Paul. No matter what educational background you have, in so far as you're speaking faithfully on behalf of the King, you are his emissary. A threat to you is a threat to the King, disobedience to you is a disobedience to the King. You show goodness to his emissary you did it to the King. Their Minister (leitourgon). See on Ro 13:6; 15:16 for this ritualistic term. Epaphroditus is also a minister. The word leitourgon have this priestly connotation in terms of service. He was their priest unto Paul. A priest who brought their sacrificial offering. Here's a nobody, with a very common name, without mention of any educational achievements, was commended by Paul by giving him titles that most of us would shrink back upon hearing the responsibilities they require. Oh how I want to be like Epaphroditus, and long to see more Epaphrodituses in the church. Concern for the Joy of Others verse 26-27 Indeed, he greatly missed all of you and was distressed because you heard that he had beena ill. In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. One might think that Epaphroditus already succumbed to homesickness, that's why he was sent back by Paul. He said so in verse 26 right? Ah Paul, enough of the pleasantries, you just want to send him back because he's proven to be useless for you right? No. On the contrary, Epaphroditus wants to go home in order to prove to them that he's fine. He wants to ease their sadness because they heard that he had been ill. He was distressed(same with Matthew 26:37) because of their sadness. Paul confirmed it and even stressed that this guy nearly died because of the work of Christ. So, far from being useless, this kind of Christian is what we really need in the ministry. Occasion to Cause Joy for Others verse 27-28 But God showed mercy to him - not to him only, but also to me, so that I would not have grief upon grief. Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you can rejoice and I can be free from anxiety. Notice why God healed Epaphroditus. God healed him so that Paul would not have sorrow upon sorrow. That's how deeply affected Paul was by Epaphroditus' near death experience. Therefore Paul is so eager, now that Epaphroditus is well, to send him back so that they too can rejoice and as a result Paul will be freed from anxiety. verse 29 So welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him The ultimate reason why it is necessary for Paul to send Epaphroditus, is so that the Philippians can join in this cycle of Joy. It would be an occasion for them to imitate Epaphroditus and be the cause of joy for such a sorrow stricken man. Paul said "welcome him in the Lord". Meaning welcome him as if he's the Lord. I believe true Christians will leap for joy because of seeing their master. With joy, we should welcome men like Epaphroditus. We should honor them. Fullness of Joy through Risk verse 30 since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died. He risked his life so that he could make up for your inability to serve me. The word "risked" in verse 30 is a very strange word. It was often used as a gambling term, and some scholars have noted that gamblers would invoked Aphrodite, also a goddess of luck, with the term epaphroditus. Paul could be making a wordplay with his friend's name to make a point. Epaphroditus risked everything in order to attain greater joy that would be shared with others. Therefore have you, with joy gave your life for others? When was the last time you risked everything for greater and lasting Joy? We need more Epaphrodituses in our churches today just as we need Timothys and Pauls.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.