"For the work of Christ he came close to death..."
Text: Philippians 2:30
HOW MUCH DOES THE WORK OF CHRIST MEAN TO PAUL?
Paul’s answer to this question is easily answered. The Epistle to the Philippians highlighted his heart’s love for the work of Christ.
1. To Paul to live was Christ
a) He was willing to suffer for Christ.
b) He went to prison for the sake of the Lord Jesus.
2. To die was gain (Philippians 1:21)
a) There was such a precious sense of assurance in his heart.
b) Death was not feared in the least! To die was to be with Christ instantly and forevermore!
HOW MUCH DID THE WORK OF CHRIST MEAN TO EPAPHRODITUS?
Paul had this word to say about his fellow-worker.
“Because for the work of Christ he came close to death,
not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.”
1. “Because for the work of Christ he came close to death”
a) “The work of Christ”
i) The gospel ministry in general, working alongside Paul.
ii) The ministry of caring for Paul specifically.
b) “He came close to death”
i) He may have been adversely affected by the prison condition he found himself in.
ii) This was his special ministry- to attend to Paul when he was in prison.
iii) He became seriously ill and nearly lost his life.
2. “Not regarding his life”
a) This does not mean that Epaphroditus was risking his life unnecessarily.
b) It simply means that he was not afraid of losing his life for the sake of the gospel.
3. “To supply what was lacking in your service toward me”
a) The Philippians wanted to minister to Paul.
b) They expressed their high regard for Paul by sending Epaphroditus to minister to him.
c) Epaphroditus did not mind at all that his task was to look after the apostle Paul. Such was his esteem and regard for the apostle!