Publication Date: 02-15-1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
Philippians 1:27, conduct yourselves as citizens worthy of the gospel. Our citizenship is in
heaven. Two modifying phrases to this: 1. standing firm spiritually with one soul; 2. to contend
together in the contest for the family faith.
Chapter 2 focuses on standing firm spiritually with one soul.
Chapter 3-4:9 dwells more on contending together in the contest for the family faith.
Philippians 2:2 says: Fulfill my joy by:
1. thinking the same thoughts.
2. having the same love.
3. having your souls joined together.
4. thinking unity.
Jesus Christ was the first example of this type of walk. Things done out of humility, lowliness of
mind, serving one another. v. 5-11 first example. If our lives locked in with God we would have
equal souls locked in together. When all this is put together you think unity.
Timothy and Epaphroditus are two other examples of thinking the same thoughts, having the
same love, having your souls joined together and thinking unity.
2 : 19 We are to shine as stars in the universe, holding forth the Word of life. That is the cause
of our joy and rejoicing together. He was going to send Timothy because he was think
ing the same thoughts, had the same love, he was a doulos , he served, had his soul joined
together with Paul. Thought unity of the Body.
I trust. [Gr. e1pizō]. To hope for the future. Hope for something in the future provided
it is well-grounded expectation. To anticipate in a well-grounded expectation. If not
well-grounded then it is wishing.
Lord Jesus. Emphasizes our service to the humiliated one who is our Lord. v. 21, phrase
“Jesus Christ” emphasizes the humiliated one. v. 24, “the Lord” because it is our service
to that Lord, he is our master. v. 29, “Receive him in the Lord” the whole context is
service. We are servants to the Lord. v. 30, “Christ” should be Lord. Throughout is the
underlying idea of service, being a doulos, being able to put your life on the line where it
is needed to move the Word.
be of good comfort. (Grk.) To have a good soul; a cheerful soul. To have rest.
also. (Grk.) Precedes “I.” (Eng.) Follows “I.” Truly.
state. Things concerning you; your state; your status; your affairs. v. 4 look at the things
of others, not caught up in your own needs. Paul was concerned about their affairs. A
leader can’t rest until he knows his people are rested.
2 : 19 Now in my service for the Lord Jesus I firmly expect to send Timothy to you soon so I
may be truly at ease when I know your affairs .
2 : 20 state. Affairs.
likeminded. Equal souled. (Aram.) Who is like myself. He had to send someone to
Philippi because he had no one who thought like he did, who really cared for their affairs.
naturally. Diligently; carefully; genuinely. Used of children who are legitimately born.
Wholeheartedly. To be concerned about. To be overly concerned leads to anxiety.
2 : 20 I have no one who thinks like me and is wholeheartedly concerned about your affairs.
2 : 21 all. All with distinction.
seek their own. Category of greed; selfish ambition. See v. 3.
2 : 21 Everyone is selfishly interested in himself rather than in those things which pertain to
You will never succeed spiritually if all you think about is your own selfish ambitions and how
you can get ahead. Timothy was one concerned with the things that pertained to Jesus Christ.
Wholeheartedly concerned about the affairs of the Philippians, and anyone else God laid in his
2 : 22 proof. A test or trial with a positive outcome expected. Like you try metal. Timothy had
been proved. See II Tim. 2:15. Proved to God. Command to any leader is to be diligent,
proved in your ministry by rightly dividing the Word. Timothy was an example of it. He
proved himself to the Philippians by walking on the Word.
know. [Gr. ginōskō]. To know by experience. They knew by experience the proof of
Timothy because he had been with Paul, Luke and Silas.
as. Figure of speech simile. Comparison using like or as.
as a son with the father. In Eastern culture a father would often teach his son the trade
and the son would learn from his father. Under the laws of adoption the new son would
work with the new father. It was a teaching and learning relationship by hearing and
doing. Timothy learned the Word and how to live it from Paul.
served. [Aram. plach]. To work or labor. [Gr. douleuō]. To serve as a bond slave.
Timothy served as a bond slave. An example of the same love of Jesus Christ.
2 : 22 However, you know experientially how he [Timothy] has proved himself, because he has
served [as a bond slave] with me for [The advancement of]the gospel as a son works
with his father.
The issue of Philippians is the advancement of the gospel. Timothy had an equal soul with Paul.
He is a leader who serves.
2 : 23 hope. To firmly expect; to anticipate; to wait with a well-grounded expectation.
see. [Gr. aphoraō]. [horaō]. To see. [apo]. Away from, to turn the eye away from other
things and to fix them on something else. Hebrews 12:2 only other occurrence of this
word, “looking.” In a race you keep your eyes fixed on what you are doing. So, fix your
eyes on Jesus Christ away from other things. The race in the spiritual contest demands
you fix your eyes on Jesus Christ alone.
In Philippians the word is used of Paul’s affairs. He needs to get to the place where he can get
his eyes off his chains, or bonds. When he can take his eyes off this he can fix them on their
2 : 23 Therefore, I firmly expect to send him immediately after I am able to turn my attention
from my own affairs.
2 : 24 trust. I am confident. I am persuaded.
2 : 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself also will come to you soon.
He is confident because of his service in the Lord that he will come soon. A leader needs this
same confidence. If you can’t come yourself you send someone else because of your care and
2 : 25 supposed. (Aram.) A matter urges me. (Grk.) Considered it better. Epaphroditus is men
tioned in Philippians 4:8 where he is talking about abundant sharing. He brought the
abundant sharing from the Philippians to Paul in Rome. The abundant sharing supplied
Paul’s need in great abundance.
companion in labor . (Aram.) Helper.
fellowsoldier. No dominant analogy of a soldier in the epistles. Certain phrases which
are attached to the military are found, but as an analogy to the believer’s walk it is a
contest. Soldier is Old Testament. Worker or laborer with me. Soldier or war in church
epistles is a form of the word, plach. We are in a spiritual contest not a war.
minister. To minister like a public servant in a ceremonial sense.
2 : 25 Yet a certain matter urged me to send you Epaphroditus, my brother, helper, and coworker,
but your apostle and an attendant to my need.
He is my brother on the spiritual level, my helper in that he has served me in the work of the
ministry, did what I asked him to do. He’s my co-worker because we have worked together
serving God. But he is your apostle, your sent one to bring new light. He is an attendant to my
need, his abundant sharing he brought from Macedonia.
2 : 25 longed after. Eagerly desired. Word in 1:8. Paul had a great compassion and desire to
be with them. Had compassion of Jesus Christ. Epaphroditus had the same heart and
desire. Equal souled. Heart and commitment to help people.
full of heaviness. To be distressed; greatly depressed; grieved. Full of heaviness because
of his great concern.
sick. (Aram.) Paul knew they had heard that Epaphroditus had been sick. Weak; any
type of infirmity. Whatever happened to Epaphroditus he was weak near unto death.
2 : 26 He had an intense desire to be with all of you and was full of heaviness because he knew
you had heard he was sick.
2 : 27 nigh unto death. Near; almost; as good as dead; at the point of.
sorrow upon sorrow. Literally, grief upon grief.
mercy. Withholding of merited judgement. Matthew l8:23ff. James 2:13. Mercy can
overcome any judgement because it is the withholding of any judgement you deserve. If
no mercy the judgement comes.
In Philippians the word for mercy is [Aram. rachem]. Verb form of rachma, n. Literally can
mean the vaginal area; the womb; the testicles; bladder. Usually used in plural and means
bowels. Bowels is used to indicate tenderness; compassion; affection; love; mercy. Meaning
depends upon the context. Verb form means to have or to show these things. In this context the
word mercy would not be the best, but tenderness or compassion is good. We translated as
compassion. v. 2:1; James 5:11 mercy should be compassion.
2 : 27 And indeed he was sick, very close to death, but God had compassion on him, and not on
him only but on me also, so I should not have grief upon grief.
2 : 28 more carefully. More diligently; promptly.
rejoice. Key word.
less sorrowful. (Grk.) Without grief. (Aram.) should be to me a little breathing. Room
to breath. Relieved.
2 : 28 So I sent him promptly, in order that when you see him you might rejoice again, and I
might be relieved.
2 : 29 gladness. Joy.
in the Lord. Indicates service.
receive . [Gr. prosdechomai]. Receiving hospitably. To welcome someone. To open
your arms to someone.
reputation. Honor; esteem; precious.
2 : 29 Therefore, welcome him hospitably in the Lord with all joy, and hold in esteem those
who are like him;
2 : 30 supply. [Gr. anaplēroō]. To fill to capacity.
service. Ceremonial public service.
of Christ. Should be of the Lord.
not regarding his life. Interesting background in Greek. [Gr. paraboleuomi]. To stake or
risk one’s life. Rare in Greek literature. First found in this passage. Derived from
another word that means to throw down a stake, or to make a venture. Related to another
word which means rash, reckless, gambling. So this word implies one who is a gambler
and willing to risk all for the highest stakes.
Name of Epaphroditus is derived from Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love and gambling.
In the course of a game when the play had come to the highest stake the player would call out,
“Aphrodite, Aphrodite”, which means favorite of Aphrodite who invoked the goddess. The
biblical custom of a man’s name reflecting his personality even if used a pagan name.
The custom in the game of dice is to use three dice. Very popular among Romans. Even some
of the emperors wrote about the game. Paul was familiar with this term because it was used in
Ephesians 4:14, “sleight of men”. [Gr. kubeia]. Dice or die. Used of the deceit of men. If they
came up with three 6’s they called it “Aphrodite”, and you won everything. Three 1’s called
“the dog” and you had to pay one denarius for each die.
Epaphroditus did not gamble with money, but he gambled his own life when be brought the
abundant sharing. Risked his own life for the work of the ministry. Idea of winning and loosing
and being in a risk situation is not unfamiliar to Paul and the Philippians. Philippians 3:7.
Philippians 1:21. Paul was in prison because of the work of the ministry. Loved God and loved
His Word and willing to stand no matter what the Judeans, Romans or Greeks said.
Epaphroditus had the same heart of service as Paul. He risked his life to supply their lack of
2 : 30 because he was near death on account of his work for the Lord, having risked his life to
supply your deficiency of service to me .