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Those Sinful Ministers!

John Collins10/09/2012

Philippians 2 teaches us that men drawn to their own lusts and purpose as we see today is nothing new.  Paul struggled with the same exact thing, even with the help he had in spreading the Gospel.

Paul, sending Timothy, says that he has "None like him."  He says that Timothy was genuinely concerned for their welfare, while all others sought after their own interestes and not the interests of Jesus Christ!

He said that Timothy was like a son to him, serving Paul in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the land.  He said that he could not come to visit the Philippians yet, but would come soon if possible.  

He also had great respect for Epaphroditus.  Though Epaphroditus was sick near to death, he was not concerned with his own welfare.  He was deeply concerned that the Philippians had learned of his illness, and that it stood a chance of swaying their faith.  

It is believed this was because of the troubled time they lived in, when so many were weak in the faith in Jesus Christ.  Christ gave the apostles the gift of healing so that others in that day would believe and understand them to be anointed and appointed by God to spread the Good News.  Epaphroditus was concerned that they may have thought God was not among them since the gift of healing seemed to be lacking.

Paul said that it was not lacking, however.  Epaphroditus was indeed sick, but was now well.  He was so sick that he nearly died!  God not only had mercy on Epaphroditus, but mercy on Paul as well.  Sorrow upon sorrow, Paul was very relieved to have his brother in Christ at his side!

He said that he was all the more eager to send Epaphroditus with Timothy to visit them, so they could rejoice when they see him again.  Also, Paul said it would relieve a bit of anxiety from himself.

Paul let the people know to receive him with all joy and honor, because Epaphroditus nearly died doing the work of Christ.  He risked his own life to fill in the gaps where extra help was needed in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we should stop to consider this passage.  Paul had many helpers, though we only have writings from a few of them.  Many were considered and appointed "Apostles" in that day.  Though we elevate them in esteem, they are no greater than you or I if we are focused on spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many as will hear us.  An "apostle" simply is a person who spreads the gospel in Truth, writing down for all to learn by.  A person God uses to His purpose, which is serving the people -- not ruling the people.

This is not limited to men only in the writings of the Apostles, men and women alike spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and were 'helpers' or 'servants' to the people.  

We should ask ourselves this one, simple question:  Are we spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Or are we spreading some other gospel that is for the device used to elevate some man?