Citizens: A Study On Philippians (Part 10)

August 23, 2020   /   Jesus Church

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Citizens: A Study on Philippians

(Part 11)

  • Glad you are with us in person and online
    • We are walking through the end of chapter 2 of Paul’s letter
    • That means we are half way done
  • Last 2 weeks have been a ton of fun
    • Two weeks ago was the subject of obedience & good works
    • Last week was the subject of not grumbling or arguing
  • So look around… anyone who isn’t here this week – but was last
    • They were probably grumbling about the sermon
    • Just kidding… probably wanted to argue about something I said

So again – This week we are closing out chapter 2

Phil 2:19-30



Do you have any movies you love that transcend generations

  • U watch as a kid… ur kids watched it… someday grandkids will too
    • One movie that is like that for me is “HOME ALONE”
    • I don’t think that movie will ever lose interest
  • But 1 thing I don’t like about it is…
    • It’s always brings back the stress of travel in the 80’s & 90’s
      • Paper plane tickets
      • Alarm clocks that aren’t a phone
      • Crazy itineraries
    • That scene of waking up knowing u missed ur alarm
      • Running through the airport (even w/ no security checks)
      • I think every time I watch it… I get a few more grey hairs

At 1st glance – these 11 verses feel a whole lot like a stressful travel log

  • It’s plane tickets… itineraries… missed travel… hotel reservations
    • Paul is in a roman Prison – Where they don’t give you anything
      • You are completely at the mercy of family & friends
      • Philippians hear about Paul from 800 miles away
      • He is literally starving and will die if he doesn’t get help
  • So Philippians get money together & send a guy (Apathroditus)
    • 800 miles with a gift to buy food… get water… clothes
      • And along the way he gets sick and almost dies
      • But even though he is sick… he pushes thru & gets to Paul
      • Because he didn’t give up – Paul is saved
    • Now Paul has an issue – Philippians don’t know what happened
      • Remember only way to communicate is in person
        • Did the money ever get to Rome?
        • Is Paul even still alive or was he executed?
  • Paul needs 2 figure out how 2 communicate w/ the church
    • He can’t go… in prison
      • Timothy can’t go… Paul needs him through the trial
      • But he can send Apath-ro-di-tus back to fill them in
    • Then after Paul knows if he will die or not by Caesar
      • Paul will send Timothy for direction/encourage/love
      • And then circle back to Rome to report again to Paul

On surface that’s all this is – Travel plans & itineraries

But under the surface there is so much going on

  • We have to keep reminding ourselves this is a letter
    • When we read: Must keep context (why verse by verse is good)
  • First: Lets rewind to ch. 1 – Central point Paul is building around
    • It’s the First command of entire letter (Phil. 1:27)
    • Live as citizens of the Gospel of the King
  • Second: Ch. 2 – Paul gives a vision of a church that would do that
    • And specifically in UNITY and HUMILITY

Phil 2:2

  • Third: Paul gives EXAMPLES of how it looks in daily life (Phil 2:5)
    • 1st example: Jesus – Verse 5: Same mindset as Jesus (humble)
  • Fourth: (Last week) Paul shows Israel as what NOT to do
    • How Grumbling & Arguing actually hides the Gospel
  • Fifth: (Today) Paul points out 2 Xian guys the Philippians know
    • These are examples again for the Philippians to follow
    • In order to learn how to live out Gospel in Unity & Humility

B/C we need examples to look to… am I right?

  • I have examples all around my life
    • I look to my Dad on how to lead a family/be a man of God
    • I look to my friend Pastor Billy on how to stay mentally healthy
    • I look to my friend Pastor Mark on how to lead outside the box
    • I look to my wife on how to empathize with others
  • I need examples to look to – b/c when I walk into new seasons
    • I want to hear from someone who has been there…
    • I need someone I can learn from their: MISTAKES & VICTORIES
  • Which is why having multi-generational church is so important
    • I need the wisdom of Pastor Rick who’s walked things I haven’t
  • And Paul gets that… because live like the KING is fuzzy at best
    • It’s one thing to say “Live out the Gospel”
    • Whole other thing to say “That guy next to you… be like him”
    • It’s a whole different thing to put flesh and blood on theology
      • That is what Paul is up to in the text

TAG: That said Paul gives us two examples 

First off is Timothy (Well know character in the Bible)

Years before Philippians is written – Paul planted church in Lystra

  • There he found a young guy named Timothy (Dad was pagan)
    • Paul adopts Timothy as his own son
    • In return – Timothy follows Paul as long as he can
    • And becomes Paul’s right hand man – Even writes him 2 letters
      • That in mind… lets get into the text

Phil. 2:19-21

  • And it’s a big deal to send Timothy… basically Paul’s right hand guy
    • He could have sent anyone (Rome… Jerusalem… anyone)
    • But he wants to send Timothy and here is why… he says…
  • And I love this b/c reading between the Paul is saying
    • Sorta like when I leave the house and talk to my kids saying…
    • “Can’t wait 2 get home & see ur rooms clean/homework done”
    • Paul saying “Cant wait 2 send Timothy so I can hear good news”
      • And here is why Paul sends Timothy…
  • Paul shows how much he values authenticity & being genuine
    • I think that is something I respect/disrespect most in people
    • Paul knows Timothy is trustworthy and will take care of them
    • He isn’t there with an agenda… but for their well fare
  • And notice all the parallel language Paul puts in here from earlier
    • Phil 2:2 
    • Phil 2:19 – (same in Greek)
      • Phil 2:3 
      • Phil 2:21 
  • Paul is saying Timothy is the exception to the rule… not the norm
    • He will take care of you… promote you… not looking to profit
    • Def of Humility to Paul: Being others focused over self focused
    • I ask… could that be said of me – How often do I look out 4 me

BUT that kind of character does not come cheap… Paul goes on…

Phil. 2:22

  • ]The words “PROVED HIMSELF” in Greek is just one word
    • DOKIME: Character as the result of suffering
    • It’s also used in Romans 5…

Rom 5:3-4

  • Wait… who does that: Glory in our sufferings?!?!
    • But here is why…
  • For those of you in a place of suffering right now (fill in blank)
    • If you hold steady in perseverance it has the potential to either
      • Destroy your life
      • Create inside you a character (Dokime) money cannot buy
    • It’s what u can’t gain it from a sermon… a book… a podcast
      • You can only learn it from the hard knocks of life
  • Paul says that’s true of Timothy… proven character from suffering
    • Paul says: I know because I was there!
    • In prison… suffering for the gospel…

Phil. 2:22-24

So we know Paul says to look to Timothy as example

Paul uses metaphors to help us understand how to live out gospel

Phil 2:22

  • Timothy is a pic of a SON with his FATHER (not just a father figure)
    • In Ancient world you would follow father into family business
    • If ur father was a farmer… odds are u would become a farmer
    • If ur father was a merchant… ur probably gonna be a merchant
  • Even today in much of the world… you learn ur trade
    • By working shoulder to shoulder with your father
    • That’s what Paul is saying… he worked right by my side
  • And u learn by copying/imitation – This is how we learn as humans
    • Parenting is watching ur faults walk around on two little legs
      • Your children will follow you whether you like it or not
    • To Paul we must learn: Younger generation learning from older
      • That is why we value a multi-generational church
      • Sons/daughters learn from those further on road of faith

2 Tim 2:2

  • Idea is that one generation passes down the truth to the next
    • Paul learned from Jesus > Timothy learned form Paul
    • Philippians learn from Timothy > down to you and me

Titus 2:3-4

  • Paul’s vision is a church where the older women teach the younger
    • And you don’t get to say… “I’m not a teacher”
    • You don’t get off the hook w/ that… or… am I older or younger
    • But Paul says this is vital – We are a family teaching each other
  • And for those specifically who are younger in the faith
    • You would do well to find a Paul (father/mother) 2 walk in faith
    • Go to men/women groups to learn from the more experienced
  • And there is a responsibility if you are young to seek that out
    • And if you have walked the faith…
    • Responsibility on your shoulders to pass that on
    • One thing I love about this church: We have Paul’s/Timothy’s

And the best way to find a mentor – Is to do just that > Find one

  • Someone in your life… community… space and learn from them
    • And they don’t need to be perfect
    • They just have to be honest about their life (good & bad)
  • Don’t come into being mentored with a narcissistic heart posture
    • Think it’s their job is 2 pour into me & make me a better person
    • Listen to the reasoning – It’s all about you… what does Paul say

Phil 2:22

  • If you want to be mentored… come with the heart of a servant
    • The mindset isn’t: I’m here… teach me
    • The mindset is: You’re here… how can I learn from you
  • I have people I want to learn from > They don’t call me > I call them
    • Why? Because they are too busy… but I make lists of questions
      • And when its long enough I call them: I need an hour
      • On your time… I’ll buy… won’t waste ur time

And there are Timothy’s here… but there are also Paul’s as well

  • A lot of Paul’s are afraid to be Paul’s (I can’t do that – Not ready)
    • But you can… just be honest and authentic
    • B/C you have a responsibility to pass on what you’ve learned
  • All that to say…
    • Are you a Timothy to a Paul
    • Are you a Paul to a Timothy…
    • Because we need to be both


And then next is Apath-ro-di-tus

Phil 2:25-30

  • You know God heals people right… it’s all over the NT & here today
    • Not always… the kingdom of God is here but not fully
    • If it was here fully – Everyone would be healed… but it’s not            
  • And what Paul says here is the only command in the passage
    • One: To welcome those who are sent as an example
    • Two: To honor them as well
  • We r 1 of only cultures in world that doesn’t value village elder
    • We worship at the altar of youth/beauty… not age/wisdom
    • Scripture: Welcome/honor people who help u grow (why)

There is a play on words here – Phrase “Risked his life” is gambling term

  • APathroDity is who this guy is named after… goddess of gambers
    • Culturally if you were rolling dice to win something
    • You would yell out “A-Pathro-Di-Ty”!!!
    • Paul says this guy is named after a gambling goddess
      • He gambled his life… but for the Gospel
      • And the CREATOR GOD got him thru

And Paul gives 5 different Metaphors to help us

Phil 2:25

First: Brother

  • Pauls favorite name for Xians is Adelphos (Brother/Sister)
    • To Paul: He sees the church as a family… and the family of God
    • …and that happens not in a crowd BUT in relationships
    • B/C when u surround yourself with relationships you will grow

Second: Worker

  • Because to Paul the Gospel is work… and HARD work
    • It’s blood/sweat/tears
    • Not easy & it’s not supposed to be

Third: Soldier

  • Imagery of 2 soldiers shoulder to shoulder in war
    • The kingdom of God is a war… but its “the war to end all wars”
    • It’s a struggle – Not against flesh/blood but powers of darkness
    • So it’s not physical fight… it’s spiritual (We must pray more!!!)
  • Are you a soldier going to war for the kingdom of God
    • To contend for our city to be healed
    • To pray against the drug epidemic killing people
    • To fall to your knees for brokenness and injustice

Fourth: Messenger

  • Messenger (Apostolos)… Means Missionary
    • Missionary can be a powerful word or a destructive word
    • We hear missionary: Think people we send so we don’t have to
    • Missionary is only a good word if it means every one of us
  • B/C Missionary means: 1 sent on a mission (true of us all)
    • And while some are sent to Africa/Russia/China
    • The vast majority of ur are sent to hospitals or schools or…
    • You are sent there as a messenger EVERYWHERE you go
  • What do u call a messenger that doesn’t deliver packages
    • Their sorta a thief…
    • You carry a message of life to a world that is dying

Fifth: Minister (who you sent to take care of my needs)

  • Phrase is a noun – Term 4 public office or priests around the world
    • A messenger was a servant… but with authority
    • You need to understand that you are a priest…
    • NT doesn’t do away with priests > says we all are priests
  • And a priest isomeone who reps God 2 people/people 2 God
    • Meaning you are the priest of your neighborhood
    • If someone on ur street wants to know of God – Go talk to Joe
    • And you rep your neighborhood back to God in prayer
      • God I ask 4 hope/protection/opportunity in my community

Before we respond – Notices what’s not on list

Pastor isn’t there… at this point these are just guys who love Jesus

  • Timothy will become a pastor… but 1 thing that’s great about NT
    • Line b/w pastor and guy in the church is blurry at best
    • No such thing in Bible as one who is “Called to the Ministry”
    • Why… because we are all called into the ministry
  • And its so damaging… b/c it says other 99% of church isn’t called
    • Please understand every one of us are called by God to ministry
      • Meaning: Serving in the kingdom of God
      • And its full time ministry… u are called to full time ministry
  • Might do that as a pastor… or barista… selling houses… teacher
    • Wherever you find life – Called there full-time 4 the gospel
    • Regardless of job description – You are a follower of Jesus
  • Do not buy into the lie that ur job is to show up Sundays…
    • Let the “Called Ones” build the Kingdom of God
    • If we would all live understanding we are called
    • The church will THRIVE… and the Gospel would shine brighter

And I think this passage… it shows us how to read the Bible

  • B/C reading it on the surfact… doesn’t seem relevant at all
    • We say the Bible (All) is useful and life changing
    • Well what does that mean when its travel plans for 2 guys
    • How does that change my life
  • How do we read this passage
    • You read it just like a story.. but one u are called to live in
    • And encounter and engage with
  • It’s like a song that you not only hear… but you join in with
    • And you can’t just do your own thing (that just doesn’t fit right)
    • No u have to listen… find key… tempo… join into the song
  • That’s my prayer for you… to play along
    • If the kingdom of God is a melody… what are you gonna do
    • Are you just gonna sit and listen… watch others live it out
    • Or will you take what you know and play along… play ur part


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