Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 2

Christians who deserve honour

Philippians 2:29-30

Often, Christians give honour in their churches to those who are impressive, popular or rich. However, Paul urges Christians to give honour to people like Epaphroditus. We know very little about this man. We do not know whether he was rich or poor; we cannot say whether he was successful in his work. We only know that he put his own life in danger in order to help Paul.

Let us think about the reasons why he, and people like him, deserve honour:

(1) His actions were completely unselfish. He considered it more important to help someone else, than to protect himself (Mark 10:43-44).

(2) His actions showed true Christian love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). That attitude showed him to be a genuine Christian (John 13:34-35).

(3) He was therefore obeying God’s command to act in love towards other people (Mark 12:28-31).

(4) His unselfish attitude shows a mature relationship with Christ. Christians who are not mature are often selfish or jealous of other people; such Christians are eager to establish their own importance. Mature Christians care much more for other people than for themselves (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

(5) He was behaving in the same way as Christ did (John 13:14-17; Philippians 2:5). Christians should learn to imitate Christ’s attitudes. Epaphroditus even imitated Christ’s actions – almost to death (Mark 8:34-35).

(6) He was truly doing the work of Christ, in other words, the work that Christ had given him to do. He was not risking his life for his own profit or to prove his own character to himself or anyone else. Instead he was carrying out a true act of love – and that is the work of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 and Mark 9:41).

Next part: Remember to be joyful (Philippians 3:1)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.