Please read Philippians 2:25-30
Verse 29, “Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:”
Epaphroditus is not one of the most popular characters in the Bible, but he is certainly one of the most outstanding for such a short appearance. This is a high compliment of Epaphroditus, and also shows the proper treatment of those who are blessed with such a character. It is our Christian duty to honour those who are worthy of honor and respect them for their commitment to the work of the Lord. I see three qualities in the life of Epaphroditus for which each Christian ought to strive.
I. HE WAS A BALANCED CHRISTIAN.
- A brother – which means he knew the fellowship of the Gospel.
- A companion in labor – which ties him to the furtherance of the Gospel.
- A fellow soldier – he knew how to battle for the faith.
We too must learn to be balanced:
- In our spiritual life.
- In our physical life.
- In our intellectual life.
- In our social life.
How easy it is for some to get out of balance:
- Some Christians think only of fellowship with friends and acquaintances and have no time to fight the enemy and win souls.
- Others are so wrapped up in service that they forget the fellowship. An example is Martha in Luke 10:40.
- Still others are always fighting so much that they neglect fellowship and service. It is easy to always fight the enemy and never build the church.
- We need to be balanced Christians with the right priorities in life. Here is what I see as some basic priorities:
- Be an example of a Christian man or woman.
- Be an example in your belief in the Bible.
- Be an example in making the right choices in life.
- Be an example as a parent or child.
God loved us because of our need, not because He needed someone to love because love is a command, not an emotion. Love your wife and children first by giving them of your time.
Titus 2:9-10, “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
Someone said, “Fidelity is consistency and quality.”
- Be an example as a servant of Christ.
- Work hard, study hard, and pray hard.
- Be an example as a church member.
Think of it, if we are not the right kind of person, we will not be any of these.
II. HE WAS A BURDENED CHRISTIAN.
- He had the submissive mind – thinking of others, not himself.
- Though he was sick and almost died, his burden was for Paul and the church at Philippi.
- He had a subservient mind; first of all to God and his fellow servants.
We need more Christians with a burden for the servants in the local church.
III. HE WAS A BLESSED CHRISTIAN.
What a blessing he was to Paul – loyal to his own church and now to us.
The proof is that we are still reading about him today. Paul honored such servants in 1 Thessalonians 5:13, “And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”
In Philippians 2:30 he literally risked his life. How different we are today: We have the belief that to go down is to lose. The Bible teaches that the way up is often down.
- Christ had a submissive mind, and God highly honored Him.
- Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus had submissive minds, and they were honored for their sacrifice and service.
The only way to get victory over circumstances, people, and things is through having a submissive mind, the mind of Christ. We receive this mind only as we allow the Spirit and the Word to work in our lives. Verses 12-13, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.