Finding Your Authority in the Text Rather than Your Cleverness

Tuesday is for Preaching

“For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”  (Phil 2:21)

ExpositionChapter 2:19-30 of Philippians may be among the least quoted, least exposited Scriptures (outside of genealogies) in the whole of God’s word.



  1. These are among the most personal and intimate paragraphs in the the corpus of the New Testament letters. There is no clear, “do this, don’t do that” commands.
  2. These verses contribute (on the surface) almost nothing to the argument of the book of Philippians.
  3. Almost everything in the passage is centered in the past. It has no present imperative to it.
  4. There is only one command and that is to a the Philippians to receive Epaphraditus with joy and to honor such men as he.

But there is so much here and so much that we must believe because:

  • It is here in the inspired word of God.
  • It does contribute to the argument, it just doesn’t look like it does.

So . . .  why?  Why is it here? How will you preach the “thus saith the Lord” from this text?

5 thoughts on “Finding Your Authority in the Text Rather than Your Cleverness

  1. This is just my first reaction definitely needs study and discernment. As we have been studying, the resounding theme of the book is joy. I think your preaching here on the Joy of not just fellowship of the Body of Christ but true dependency on the Body. The intimacy so great, Paul needs Timothy and Epaphroditus. The gift of empathy and care given to each believer for each believer by the Holy Spirit so unique to the Body of Christ. The honoring of service and sacrifice among each other as opposed the the honoring of power and accomplishment as a distinguish factor of the Body. There is great joy in this unique, purposeful community that crosses cultural, national and economic bounds.


  2. Don’t worry about the errors (I corrected two of them). It’s just fast typing not necessarily bad thinking. Good first stab.

    Answer this question: Knowing the problems that were a part of the church at Philippi, how would the way Paul speaks of Timothy and Epaphraditus help solve the problems we know about?


  3. They are a perfect example to the church (esp. Euodia and Syntyche) of Phil 2:2. Both Timothy and Epaphraditus make Paul’s joy complete because they are Gospel oriented. So much so Epaphraditius almost lost his life for the cause. He even refers to Epaphraditius (I assume with no in depth study) in 4:3 as his true companion (or fellow yoke bearer). Timothy and Epaphraditius are of one mind and full accord with Paul. This is the example for the Church in Philippi and today


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