Philippians 2:17-24

Mutual Service


Introduction:

One of the chief metaphors used in the Bible to define the church is the human body. Paul talks about believers who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and been baptized in one body. Paul states there is only one body in the visible church but it has many parts as the human body does. (I Cor. 12:13-24) Paul states that if the body were merely a large eye ball, it would be deformed and yes a monster. Various parts of the body are necessary in order to make the body complete, even the members of the body that seem insignificant or weak are very necessary. A healthy body functions well when all the parts are healthy and active. Missing a toe it will change the way you walk. If you are missing a leg as many of our war veterans have experienced; it will certainly change your life, hobbling from place to place. The metaphors of the human body are something we cannot forget. It exhibits the way the spiritual body of Christ should function. (I Cor. 12:25)


  1. Faithful Service

    1. Images of faithful service – “drink offering”

      1. Pagan sacrificial system

      2. Jewish sacrificial system – Lev. 23:18, 37; II Kings 16:10-16; Jer. 7:8; Hos. 9:4

    2. Paul teaching regarding the “drink offering”

      1. Selfless service – Phil. 2:3,4

      2. Self effacement – Phil. 3:4-9


  1. Faithfully Working Together

    1. Timothy the prize and prince

      1. The Same spirit – “kindred spirit”

      2. The story of Jacob – caring and tender to his flock – Gen. 30:27; 39:5

      3. Christians are blessed on account of Christ – I John 2:12; Gen. 33:9-13

    2. Working together

      1. Paul the apostle was able to work “with” others (Timothy)

      2. The generation gap – dozens of Bible examples in I & II Samuel

      3. No generation gap – Father and sons getting along.

      4. The grand motivation – 2:3,4

    3. Application:

      1. If you belong to a younger generation, you must realize God has called you to obey your parents without rebellion – Eph. 6:1 “children in the Lord” Prov. 1:8

      2. If you are a parent, the responsibility is equally crucial – Eph. 6:4

      3. Provoking is not discipline – Col. 3:2

      4. Sternness is wrong …

      5. Smothering is wrong – overprotection causes resentment

      6. Favoritism is wrong – Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob


Conclusion:

  1. The church strength is measured by its mutual service. The church should never be defined as ‘individuals doing their own thing.’ Although we have various gifts in the body of Christ, these gifts are not to be consumed by ourselves. Turn To: Eph. 4:11-12


  1. I would like to challenge you to take someone aside within the church and mentor them. (A mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher). Paul mentored Timothy, who shall we mentor? – I Cor. 4:16,17


Pastor Nick Iamaio Reformed Presbyterian Church 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069 Web Site fultonrpc.org (11/6/11)