Phil 2:19-24 For what purpose does Paul say in Phil 2:19 that he planned on sending Timothy to the Philippians? Why was he concerned about their condition? See Phil 1:27, 2:2-3. Why would good news of their condition be an encouragement to him in his present circumstances? For what other purpose did he want to send Timothy? See Phil 2:23. Are ministers today as faithful as Paul at keeping in touch with their spiritual children in the faith? What words describe Paul’s affection for Timothy? See also 1 Cor 4:17, 1 Tim 1:2,18. How does Paul describe Timothy’s faithfulness as a true minister? How did the Philippians know of Timothy’s proven worth in the things of the gospel? See Acts 16:3,11ff, 18:5, 19:22, 20:3-4. Notice that the KJV translates his name here as Timotheus, which emphasizes its meaning; what is its meaning? (Honoring God). What does his example teach us about the sort of conduct that is honoring to God? Every minister claims to be concerned about those whom they serve; what things might characterize a minister who is not genuinely concerned about their welfare? See Gal 4:17, 2 Tim 4:3, 2 Pet 2:1-3, contrast 2 Cor 12:14. How would Paul describe us? Are we more concerned about our own interests than those of Christ Jesus? What do Paul’s words in these verses teach us about the scarcity of sincere Christian workers even in his day? Should we expect things to be any better today when evil men and impostors how gone from bad to worse (2 Tim 3:13)?
Phil 2:25-30 How does Paul describe the value of Epaphroditus to him? See Phil 2:25. What was Epaphroditus’ value to the Philippians? See also Phil 2:30. Did the Philippians’ assistance to Paul consist only of a financial gift? Of what (or who!) else did it consist? Many Christians in America tend to think that by writing a check they have fulfilled their responsibility to support the cause of Christ; how does the Philippians’ example argue against this understanding? See also Phil 2:30b. Note: While a worldly church wants our money, God wants our hearts, for when He has our hearts He will have our entire lives, not just our money, and not just 10% (see 1 Sam 16:7, Mat 6:21, Mark 12:41-44). What had happened to Epaphroditus while in Rome that gave the Philippians cause for concern when they heard about it? How did that also distress both Epaphroditus and Paul? See Phil 2:26-28. Why was Paul anxious to send Epaphroditus back to the Philippians? See also 2 Cor 11:9. What does Epaphroditus’ sickness teach us about divine healing? What do Phil 2:26-27 indicate about the duration of his sickness? God had used Paul to miraculously and instantly heal others during his ministry: see Acts 14:8-10, 19:11-12, 28:8-9; does it appear that he miraculously and instantly healed Epaphroditus? For what purpose did God use the instantaneous miraculous healings during Paul’s missionary journeys? Was that same purpose necessary in the case of Epaphroditus? What purposes of God might be fulfilled in the life of a believer by not providing a miraculous and instantaneous healing? See James 1:2-4. Did God in fact ultimately heal Epaphroditus in answer to prayer? What do James 5:13-16 and 2 Kings 20:1-7 teach us about how God can be moved by prayer to heal? Under what circumstances might God not be moved to heal? See 2 Cor 12:7-9, 2 Sam 12:15-18. What is the relationship between sickness and sin? Will our sins be visited upon us as sickness? See Deut 28:15, 21-22, 27-28, 58-61, and again James 5:15-16. May we as Christians avoid the sicknesses which plague the world by heeding God’s commandments? See Ex 15:26, Deut 7:12-15, Psalm 91. If a person is afflicted with a sickness, does it necessarily mean that that person has sinned? See 2 Kings 13:14, John 9:1-3, as well as these verses in Philippians under discussion; see also Prov 20:9. Is God’s ultimate desire for us to be healthy? Note: God’s ultimate desire is for us to be whole, which necessitates that we be holy, and when we are whole we will also be healthy. However, until we are whole, God may use the trials and afflictions of sickness to make us “perfect and complete” (James 1:4).