Paul’s Drink Offering & the Philippians’ Sacrifice

Paul closes his four exhortations (1:27-2:16) to his fellow believers in Philippi by further admonishing them to rejoice with him over their mutual faith and service.

He uses sacrificial metaphors to make his point. He describes their service and faith as a sacrifice and his own faith and service as a drink offering. Paul probably has his own martyrdom in mind as a possibility when he says, “But even if I am being poured out as drink offering … I rejoice …” He doesn’t fear. He has already made his attitude clear, “For to me, TO LIVE IS CHRIST, AND TO DIE IS GAIN.” Whether by life or death, his life is a drink offering being poured out on the equally sacrificial service of these believers. Their faith and his faith, their service and his service, working together are reason for rejoicing together.

From this point, Paul is ready to single out two notable servants; Timothy (2:19-24) and Epaphroditus (2:25-30). Paul can depend on these two men like few others. He notes that he has “no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned” for the Philippians’ welfare. “For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.” These words have always disturbed me, that in God’s kingdom there could be so many who seek only after their own interests, that they would not be available to serve the manifold needs of the kingdom. No doubt Paul is looking back to his second exhortation (2:1-4) that we should “not merely look out for our own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” In Timothy’s case, his proven worth is evident as he has served with Paul faithfully “in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.”

Epaphroditus has served both the Philippian church and Paul as a courier sending messages back and forth, as well as generous financial gifts for the work of Christ. Paul notes that Epaphroditus  acquired a sickness that pushed him to the point of death had God not shown him mercy. Paul tells the Philippians to hold men like him in high regard, “because he came close to death for the work of Christ.” Apparently, Epaphroditus had risked his own health, working more than a man should have to, but motivated to serve Christ by helping Paul and the Philippians. Epaphroditus depicts the very attitude that Paul himself possesses, “TO LIVE IS CHRIST, TO DIE IS GAIN.”

Thus Timothy and Epaphroditus are prime examples of the kind of servants that embody the principles that Paul exhorts (1:27-2:16) us as believers to walk in.  

  

Comments

Serving the Family

Is part of our sacrifice to the Lord our sacrifices for our family? Is this an issue of faith or works?

Hello Pastor Bo, Last week's

Hello Pastor Bo,

Last week's message and the outline were excellent! I didn't get to hear yesterday's message due to being in nursery but Drew and I look forward to listening online.

I have some kenosis comments but haven't gotten around to typing them out. Regarding this post, I am so grateful to be a part of a church whose members serve sacrificially. The members follow Paul's exhortation to not look out merely for their own interests. We have been very blessed to see humility and servanthood displayed in both the leadership/staff and the members of Crossroads.