Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #63
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.