Posted: October 21, 2005
A Study of Positional Truths
Let us look at the text and context of
a rather lengthy passage in Philippians 2:17-30. It is here we find two
IN CHRIST statements in verses 19 and 29 which say, “But I trust ‘in
the LORD Jesus’ to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may
be of good comfort, when I know your state.” In verse 29 Paul speaks of
Epaphroditus when he said, “Receive him therefore ‘in the Lord’
with all gladness; and hold such in reputation.”
The ‘in the Lord’ phrases Wuest
Greek Word Study says is a phrase that tells us every thought, word, and
deed proceeds from the Lord who is at the center of Paul’s volition.
Paul is totally controlled in all his decisions by the Lord.
Paul has a great love for the church at
Philippi. He longs to go there again and have fruit that would be to
the glory of God. His imprisonment now hinders him from going to the
church he loves so deeply. He knows in his heart that he must pass the
torch on to other able bodied men.
Paul speaks of two different men that
he plans to send to the church that he knows will help in their growth
in grace. One of the men that Paul desires to send is Timotheus. (vs.
19) Paul tells the church he is sending Timothy because it is the will
of God that he has found ‘in the Lord’.
He then gives some credentials of this
young man he is sending. Paul tells us in verse 20, “For I have no
man likeminded,…” The phrase ‘no man’ literally means no not
one. Can we imagine in the day so close to the days that Christ was
upon the earth that Paul could find but one or two to stand in the gap.
The word ‘likeminded’ means like souled. Timothy thought, felt,
and acted like Paul.
Paul said that Timothy “…will
naturally care for your state.” The word ‘naturally’ means
genuine, sincere, and faithful. Timothy is the real deal. Lord, let us
be who we say we are. The phrase ‘care for’ has the idea of
focusing the mind upon the matters of another. It means to seek to
promote the interests of others. Timothy’s life magnified ‘it is not
all about me, but it is all about others’.
Paul who was walking ‘in the Lord’
has his life to flow out of the mind and will of God. He now offers
Epahroditus to minister to the church at Philippi. Let us look at
several of his qualities Paul speaks of in verse 25.
Paul says he is ‘my brother’.
(Of the same womb) This is a spiritual womb. They have the same
eternal Father, the Lord of Heaven. He is a fellow ‘laboure’r.
Paul says he will do anything that I do. He calls him a ‘fellow
soldier’. Paul says we fight a common enemy. Paul calls him ‘your
messenger’. The word ‘messenger’ means one sent on a special
mission to represent a head of state. Paul said ‘he ministered to my
wants’. We can find many that will minister to the needs of the
body of Christ. There are few that will humble themselves to the wants
of God’s people.
Paul tells us in verse 30, ‘…not
regarding his life,’ It is a gambling term meaning to throw down a
bet on a whim. It has the idea of being rash and reckless. This dear
man has recklessly abandoned himself to the will of the Lord. He too is
‘in the Lord’.
May we desire to
walk in the Lord and above all to have the mind and will of God at our
center. May we too see the vibrant body of believers like the Church at
Philippi. Remember, there were some precious folks there like Lydia,
the Seller of Purple, and the Philippian Jailor among the membership.
My, would that not have been a sweet group to gather ‘in the Lord’
with for worship.