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The Gambler - Philippians 2:25-30

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2020 1:00 am

The Gambler - Philippians 2:25-30

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey

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March 9, 2020 1:00 am

The only thing more baffling to me than the pride of man is the humility of God. God literally stooped so low in His incarnation, life, suffering, and death that even our most selfless, heroic acts barely scratch the surface of what He willingly endured. So how can we begin to model His impossible example? What will His humility look like when applied to our daily lives? Stephen unpacks the Apostle Paul's inspired description, illustration, and application of humility.

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More often quick to still honor on people for the wrong kind of characteristics, your Stephen dating is clicked on her beautiful, powerful, wealthy call comes to the end of his discussion, that sort of categorizes under this term.

Humility, he ends it by talking about honoring those who demonstrate humility which takes you back to the original illustration of Jesus Christ who demonstrated humility and then was exalted, but interestingly should honor, humility is the apostle Paul concludes a section from Philippians 2 he gives us one last object lesson as he tells us about his friend and fellow worker, a man of great humility.

Paul believed that this man's humility was worthy of honor. This is wisdom for the heart stay with us, as Stephen opens God's word and concludes his series entitled humility with this lesson. He's calling the gambler turn to Philippians 2 as we get started. As Paul continues on the subject of humility. In Philippians chapter 2 brings his discussion to a close, which we will today as well. He began his remember been with us with the ultimate divine illustration of humility. The Lord Jesus.

Paul then encouraged the church to demonstrate the same attitude of self-sacrifice and deference and he said do it in the midst of a crooked and perverse world, which is another way of saying that everybody in your generation is demanding their favorite pig be allowed to fly first class. Never you mind. Paul goes on to introduce to us the humility of Timothy the wonderful brief biography who was passionate. Paul wrote in seeking the interests of others, not himself. Now is a sort of wraps up all the touch back on it, of course, the subject of humility closes with another wonderful example by giving us a brief look at a man, you may never heard of.

I never met a child named this by parents. The name Aphrodite is Manny shows up briefly in Paul's letter here to the Philippians and no RL. Just for a moment the spotlight turns to him and he becomes the opposite illustration pride man of great humility. So let's take a look at the first thing Paul highlights for us and is this man's reputation. Notice how he opens in verse 25 of Philippians chapter 2, I thought it necessary to send to you Aphrodite us. Just a moment you're going to discover later in chapter 4.

The last time is mentioned that he is a member of the church in Philippi was whether the letters heading back to carry it with them.

He him and I was a trusted member. He would take their financial offering that they collected as a body to give the Paul. Remember, Paul is under house arrest in Rome. He is required by Roman law to provide the expenses of the soldiers and his rental expenses as well. As he didn't have a job and he needs help and so the church in Philippi supported him and they date they send this a large financial gift by way of the Pepperdine is easy to carry this gift to the policy and return eventually carrying this thank you letter effectively.

We call it the book of Philippians back to this church body now. Here Paul is describing the messenger boy and he uses several terms that describe a rather godly reputation that we all want to pursue and I can I say this you're about to meet a man who wasn't the kind of man who would ever think of breaking the pig on a play. He was the kind of man who would actually give up his seat for others who might even act like pays on a plane. Paul is gonna use such freighted terminology that that he clearly uses in the spirit through him to give us someone to imitate. Unlike the world around here. He is first you'll notice in verse 25.

Paul calls up Aphrodite as my brother.

My brother don't hurry this kind of camaraderie was unknown in Paul's world this would been very striking to a first century reader the world of Paul was clearly cliquish beyond click our world. Is it any better, but his world was clearly divided between Greeks or Gentiles, and Jews you had citizens who flaunted their citizenship and orders. Many of them as those not citizens are those slaves serving you had aristocrats you had peasants there was nothing in Paul's moral brotherhood even build bridges outside your little world to another. But here's Paul. Keep in mind these are thoroughbreds you is article Timothy is present in the faith to please a mixed breed half Gentile half Jew and now here's up Aphrodite us. He doesn't have a drop of Jewish blood in his veins thoroughly Gentile effect is evidently from such a pagan family that he was named deep Aphrodite. This, in honor of Aphrodite, the goddess of passion and pleasure. At one point in his life as an unconverted Pharisee and proud of it.

Paul would have referred to up Aphrodite. This is a Gentile dog now is my brother is my brother see into this world comes the gospel of Jesus Christ and you have men and women from every race, every background, every strata of society.

Every economic level transform converted in one of the revolutionary evidences is that without any external pressure or cultural norm of the believer intuitively understands that we are family that when we say hey brother, it should be cavalier were actually united by the gospel with one another.

So Paul considers himself a brother to a converted Gentile with a pagan past and frankly a rather awkward name Aphrodite. This is my brother is further notice.

Next he is by fellow worker my fellow worker includes soon Airgas which gives us our transliterated Word synergy that only is there a common bond in the gospel.

They share a common mission and he Pepperdine is just bringing money to Paul here you go. I have a great day know is actually joining Paul in the work of the gospel. Paul loves using this word by the way effect of the 13 times it appears in the New Testament. All but one of them are from Paul's pen one only one at one of the ideas he carries with him as we read this. Is this idea of of a close partnership, not some personal official relationship were were in synergy together were harnessed together so to speak. Finally, Paul actually uses this word to tell us all as believers, that we are fellow workers same term with God that raises everything doesn't it imagine where we are synergistically effective as we serve together obviously to the power of the holy spirit are combined efforts in the gospel are nothing less than cold laboring synergistically in the harmony. Working with God is just, you is just me. It didn't really just us.

It is all of us working together with God that it's important that we understand that goes beyond our walls and the work of guns around the world.

Paul effectively says a pampered night is my brother and my fellow worker has decided to do something beyond himself you with him bringing me both finances and sweet fellowship and partnership. Finally, verse 25 E. because in his fellow soldier in this common bond. They have this common mission else have common courage easy to miss is Manny shows up in Rome. By the way his wrist is like to carry a lot of money with them to give the Paul when he arrives in Rome to identify with the criminal who write that mom's chain on interest to Roman soldiers any effectively says not with him. I went to here to serve him. He basically gets in the line of fire here identify with a man facing a capital crime. Things even more interesting that the word Paul uses for soldier is the same word used of the soldiers. Paul is Jane do. He says the Pepperdine.

This is also that stridently taste that soldier that fellow soldier as if to say or suggest or imply outbound to these soldiers by chains of iron, but I praise God for the coming of this loyal faith soldier to which bound by chains of notice that only his reputation. His responsibilities which he fulfilled. Verse 25 he was also. He's also your messenger. He he came as an envoy. Paul uses the word of hostile loss into it. It's a word that we used to refer and they do in the New Testament of those commission apostles very small group.

The word is use a little more broadly in places like acts 14 and singular the chapter 8 to refer to someone. Given a special commission. Paul could have used any number of terms to describe this messenger, but he uses this one. Many believe that he uses a pasta sauce to add even more gravity to this faithful man. Paul implicitly ranks deep Aphrodite this with himself. So is it to say, don't start throwing mud and him treated like you would treat a special envoy with a special commission like you might treat an apostle Paul adds another word here just in case her little slow back in the church at Philippi to pick up on the quick enough when the letter will be read to the assembly.

Notice not only a messenger but he minister is talking to Sony with a collar summary about a pulpit affect the word minister like Tori Goss was a person in the ancient days of the Greek city states that were so loyal to their city state so faithful, so sacrificial to the citizens of the Greek city state that they would give up their own finances and their own energy in our own time to support preps a great civic event or as one illustration of the comes from that era. One of them supported the athletes with rearing for the Olympic Games. It would represent the Greek city states another literally built old warship and then pay the salary of the Navy to defend them. These men were such incredible benefactors of their city. They were known as the light toward Galway ministers were they living in our culture today they would be honored by the annual Kennedy lifetime achievement award or given an honorary doctorate or given a medal from Congress or Pat Boulevard or road named after them, or maybe a building with her name splashed on the front. They would on a key to the city. These these were the revered rhetorical revered ministers of their generation. So Paul is effectively saying the man is bringing this letter back to you, happens to be a choice minister representing the kingdom of heaven. Okay all that's introduction you get to the real issue right there still is elephant in the room. Why did a pampered eyes leave Paul and return home. Why did he return home because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard he was sick. He laughed because he heard that you had learned he was sick.

Well we all get sick present reason to leave Paul mean how sick was the verse 27 for indeed he was sick to the point of death.

You could Woodley translate as he was next door neighbor to death. We might say in this way, he was at death's door. In other words even make a little colder have an allergic reaction in Italian pasta.

It was the food needed negative only drink the water. It wasn't that all this was this was a sickness. In fact, it was a lot of for the news to travel to Philippi back again. Which means it was a least 3 to 4 or longer months in duration and he is distressed because he didn't want them to worry about.

By the way, that's worth pondering. That's a form of humility in and of itself of it is wrong that people praying for us, but here he is distressed that his sickness is causing them distress, but again was anybody think of advertisers using some sickness to bailout. Paul repeats himself. I get out of verse 30 at the end of the chapter because he came close to death for the work of Christ, literally because of the work of Christ. This is cold.

This is heartburn. This is an hour. Jesus is fatigue or even a spell of fatigue. Pepperdine is literally had one foot in the grave fact, Paul assumed he would die. You know that you like. Verse 27 or indeed he was sick to the point but God have mercy on him. The only reason he's alive is because God wanted to know why we got the flowers and the goblet of him to say, but he recovered. Paul is clearly communicating this wasn't a matter of the Pepperdine is responding to medical treatment or some rest know he had been spared death by the merciful intervention of God's focus is God centered.

I think he's making a point here. I think it's worth pulling over just a moment. There is no apostolic miracle of healing there's no prayer of faith. There is no gathering of the elders. There is no intense intercession by the church he was going to die. Everybody knew it.

But God interesting. This is one more evidence that Paul is fading in his temporary apostolic power to indiscriminately heal back at one point, as this dispensation of the church opened God's spirit validated this community by these signs and wonders. Hebrews 2 tells us so and so far that Paul could walk by someone without even looking at them without even praying without invoking the name of Jesus or anything else. It's only my come up with some kind of incantation just a shadow fell they touched is closing. They were healed.

He raised then people now is his ministry is is near 10 you see this miraculous gospel validating apostolic power. This era is nearly over. So Paul watches the Pepperdine is nearly die Bechtel till Timothy in his last letter that he had to leave another ministry partner by the last by the name of truthfulness behind in the town of Miletus because he too would become sick.

We why not just heal up the lack faith. There was a purpose about apostolic power to validate the messenger that was being replaced by Scripture as it was, be written, so Paul wants to secure any and all possible idea that there was any human action or that he had anything to do with it that were not even told her. Paul prayed sure did. Only God's merciful action is seen God had mercy on him and not only on Pepperdine is notice what he writes in verse 27 but God had mercy on him in a park and not on him only, but also on me so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. You can paraphrase that the reason that I would not have wave upon wave of grief.

Thank you for writing that Paul within China, transparency about spiritual people didn't talk about sorrow or grief. I just know we ran around slapping. Romans 828 on everybody's back here Paul is emotionally transparently opening his heart to the Philippians, and he says something I think many Christians would think unspiritual are certainly not fit for the pulpit or even the funeral parlor.

If a pampered Titus dies is going to bring me just one more wave D grief and sorrow, but I thought to live is Christ and the die is gain forward that to Paul writes with the balance of Scripture is you compare Scripture with Scripture to come over the right perspective we sorrow not as those without hope. First Thessalonians chapter 2 in verse 14 we we hope we know where the deceased believer is and by the way, they would never go to come back with seen a bit of a description of their lives.

Now and the place they live. But we sorrow.

There is a grief deep and lasting because of the gospel.

We understand that we really haven't lost.

We just temporarily lost contact with them when they are tears of sorrow will be forever driveway. So for now Paul is saying Melissa, this is one grief. I just didn't want to. I praise God for his mercy and extending the life of my brother and my fellow workers written by fellow soldier. Your messenger when administered to my needs. Verse 28.

Therefore, I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see them again.

You may rejoice. I may be less concerned about you receive him than in the Lord with all joy you get the impression again the policy the listen said don't you complain about him that you criticize him, but you little doubt slow conversations in the hallway that well you know I probably couldn't handle know you receive him back without any complaint or suspicion or doubt. Fact give them a rich reward.

And as I read and reread and reread this text, it seems to me that Paul asserted pulling back the curtain on all our futures believers when every believer comes up well. The Pepperdine is home with joy. The result hold back celebrated homecoming like the prodigal was welcomed home as well, obviously, repented in his home-going imperfect, even embarrassing yet belonging to the father and his welcomed home with joy, knowing what joy it on her leg of the text and hold men like him end of the chapter in high regard because he came close to death for the work of Christ risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. He's not complaining about the Philippians same look you could come and join me as a church family. Pepperdine is good, the deficiency of not being with you was made up with him, but don't overlook the fact that there's a tremendous amount of danger reflected in this terminology you Pepperdine this risk his life were Paul uses for risking his life were to been used for centuries was found in one papyrus scroll to refer to someone risking their life in order to represent a friend of the court before an Emperor. It was used of merchants who risk their lives to make their fortune is even used of gladiators in the arena risk their lives to be victorious, risking gambling came to become a term and noun parable Lonnie. These people became known as the gamblers, the parable Lonnie which is the root word here. EEE's he's referring to somebody who gambles as it were. Everything who risks everything, something of great value given illustration a little later on we fast-forward the tape in the third century.

The word is used, it appears again on a play breaks out in Carthage. The unbelievers are terrified and they flee back they leave behind desperately ill family members and even those who died. They lay unburied on the streets. Cyprian the church leader because the congregation together and they together agreed to bury the dead and nurse said which was an incredible gambles, so to speak.

The risking of life with such reckless courage because they did they rescued untold numbers of people from death and save the city from desolation. They were called parable Lonnie the gamblers with great honor for their courage. So Paul is giving to Pepperdine is the highest commendation. He is one of the parable.

Lonnie is gamblers life, so to speak is risk everything to come for the sake of the gospel and for Christ. No wonder Paul writes here verse 29 to hold men like him in high regard for somebody worth following world and is quick to honor the beautiful all the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected, they will deserve honor.

They should be punished because they are but as Paul comes to the end of his discussion, that sort of categorized under this term.

Humility. It's interesting to me that he ends, he ends it by talking about honoring those who demonstrate humility which takes you back to the original illustration of Jesus Christ who demonstrated humility and then was exalted honor now showing us almost by showing us this man's life are our own future by demonstrating humility, there is the coming day monitoring by way of encouragement.

People who might've never made it into the spotlight here back outside this little letter, we would've never known what we know about a man named after the Greek's hidden away for the most part secure except for this rare treasure of the believer. With that Stephen Devi brings to a close this lesson and also this series.

Stephen's been working through Philippians chapter 2 in a series called humility. If you like information on getting a copy of this entire series on CD discs give us a call today at 86 640 a Bible. You'll also find this series in the resource section of our website which is wisdom again that phone number is 86 648 Bible or the website is wisdom I wonder if you've ever done a study through the book of Ecclesiastes. Well, Stephen recently began a series through that book and working to bring you the first part of that study. Beginning tomorrow. Join us at the same time here on wisdom for the heart

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