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April 23, 2000 PM

Phil 2:25-30

INTRO: Some Bible characters are so prominent and so well known that others seem rather minor by comparison. It is, of course, unfortunate that this human tendency to compare exists ... because it means that some truly remarkable people whose lives (brief though the mentions be) are rich in goodness and lesson for us go almost unnoticed. One such person is the subject of the text we have read. He is Epaphroditus. In the few verses of this text is really all we know about him. Yet, never have verses been more filled with information to excite our admiration than these. Epaphroditus is a man for whom No Price Is Too Great to serve His Lord Christ. Notice:


A. His relationship to Paul was so special

1. my brother - in Christ we are all brethren

a. Gal 3:27,28 all one in Christ

b. yet, the my here lends an emphasis which says that the relationship was not casual, or just functional that Epaphroditus is from Philippi would suggest that the relationship spans some years

2. companion in labor they were working together

a. companion has in it the idea of friendship

b. now, what we have here is two disciples who are serving the Lord, who are working together ... and who are friends - what a happy, joyful way to serve

3. fellow soldier they were together in peril

a. there is - or should be - a militance to our faith such would indeed produce peril for us ... so, Eph 6:12

b. some in Rome were apparently unwilling to be identified with Paul because of the danger of such an identification ... but this man willing to stand by his friend whatever the personal cost!

B. His relationship to the church in Philiippi

1. some suggest he was an elder - perhaps, a preacher

2. but he was their messenger to minister to Paul

3. was a beloved, trusted member of Philippian church


A. Again, to Paul and his efforts in Rome

1. could not duty have been done in delivering the gift

2. but Epaphroditus saw a larger need when he arrived in Rome

3. it was to supply their lack of service toward Paul

4. and then some certainly characterized his life!

B. To the brethren in Philippi

1. v. 26 was concerned that they were concerned about him

2. must have been a closeness within the church at Philippi for them to have been dismayed at news of Epaphroditus illness

3. longing and heaviness of v. 26 give us clues about this mans great love for others; selflessness

C. To the Lord

1. v. 30 for the work of Christ

2. to serve Paul, to serve Romans, to serve Philippi ... even to something as menial as bringing this gift was the work of Christ

3. Mt 6:33 seems to be personified in this man


A. Obviously, he seeks only the crown of righteousness

1. applause and praise of men is not what he seeks

2. his motivation is wrapped up with/in His heavenly inheritance

B. Yet, he is to be held in reputation

1. another version says, honor men like him (NIV)

2. perhaps we shy away from honor were honor is due but why? note 1 Thes 5:13

3. when men or women have devoted themselves and have given themselves in the Masters service, it is very right, fitting and appropriate to honor them! (yes, there are cautions here ... but its possible to deprive ourselves of good things by being hypercautious about where it could lead

CLOSE: Not regarding his life comes from a word which has to do with gambling. Epaphroditus was very willing to gamble or forfeit his life if it meant the ongoing of the work of Christ!

Cecil A. Hutson

23 April 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)