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Philippians 2-3

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Completing

The Example of Timothy

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Timothy, Timotheus (Person). Paul’s convert and companion, whose name means “one who honors God.” His name is often spelled Timotheus in the kjv.
Timothy first appears in Acts 16:1–3 as Paul’s disciple whose mother “was a believer; but his father was a Greek” (v 1). He was a third-generation Christian after his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tm 1:5). The apostle Paul, undoubtedly Timothy’s spiritual father, refers to him as “my true child in the faith” (1 Tm 1:2); he perhaps converted Timothy on his first or second missionary journey. The son of a Greek (or gentile) father, Timothy was yet uncircumcised; however, when Paul decided to take Timothy with him on the second journey, he had him circumcised, so as not to hinder their missionary endeavors among the Jews.
Timothy, who was “well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium” (Acts 16:2), became Paul’s companion and assistant on his second missionary journey at Lystra.
He traveled with Paul into Europe following the Macedonian vision. When Paul decided to go to Athens, he left Silas and Timothy at Beroea to better establish the church there (Acts 17:14). Timothy and Silas eventually joined Paul in Corinth (18:5). He next appears with Paul in Ephesus on his third journey (19:22), from where Paul sends Erastus and him into Macedonia ahead of himself. In the last mention of Timothy in Acts 20:4, he was included in the list of goodwill ambassadors who were to accompany Paul to Jerusalem with the offering for the Christian Jews.
Timothy is often mentioned in the Pauline letters. His name is included in the introductory salutations of 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Timothy’s presence with Paul when he wrote these letters confirms the accuracy of the references to him in Acts. He was in Corinth on the second journey when Paul wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians, at Ephesus on the third journey when Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, and in Rome during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, when he wrote Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. He is mentioned in the introductions of 1 and 2 Timothy as the recipient of those two pastoral letters.
In the closing salutations of Romans 16:21, Timothy is listed along with others who send their good wishes to the believers in Rome. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 and 16:10, Paul speaks words of praise for Timothy as he sends him with a message to Corinth (see also Phil 2:19–23; 1 Thes 3:2–6). In 2 Corinthians 1:19 Timothy is named along with Paul and Silas as men who were telling about Jesus Christ.
In Hebrews 13:23 the author (Pauline authorship uncertain) tells his readers that Timothy has been released from prison, and hopes to come with Timothy to visit the readers of that letter.
Paul put Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus and wrote him two pastoral letters addressed with his name to help him perform that responsible task.
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Timothy, Timotheus (Person). Paul’s companion, whose name means “one who honors God.”
Timothy, Timotheus (Person). Paul’s companion, whose name means “one who honors God.”
Timothy first appears in as Paul’s disciple whose mother “was a believer; but his father was a Greek” (v 1). He was a third-generation Messianic Jew after his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tm 1:5).
Timothy, who was “well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium” (), became Paul’s companion and assistant on his second missionary journey at Lystra.
He traveled with Paul into Europe following the Macedonian vision.
Timothy is often mentioned in the Pauline letters. His name is included in the introductory salutations of 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon.
In the author (Pauline authorship uncertain) tells his readers that Timothy has been released from prison, and hopes to come with Timothy to visit the readers of that letter.
Paul put Timothy in charge of the community at Ephesus and wrote him two pastoral letters addressed with his name to help him perform that responsible task.

(1) Concerning Timothy (2:19–24)

The Sending of Timothy (2:19)

The Commendation of Timothy (2:20–22)

The Importance of Timothy (2:23–24)

(1) Concerning Timothy (2:19–24)

The Sending of Timothy (2:19)

The Commendation of Timothy (2:20–22)

The Importance of Timothy (2:23–24)

The Sending of Timothy (2:19)

The Commendation of Timothy (2:20-22)

The Importance of Timothy (2:23-24)

The Example of Epaphroditus

Epaphroditus. Leader in the Philippian church. Epaphroditus was sent to the apostle Paul during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment to deliver gifts (Phil 4:18) and to assist the apostle in his work (Phil 2:25). While in Rome, Epaphroditus became seriously ill and nearly died. After a period of convalescence he returned to Philippi with Paul’s letter instructing the church to “receive him in the Lord with all joy” (2:29). Epaphroditus’ devoted service endeared him to the Philippian believers and to Paul, who termed him “brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier” (2:25).

The Commendation of Epaphroditus (2:25)

The Reason Paul Sent Epaphroditus (2:26-28)

The Command to Honor Epaphroditus (2:29-30)

What are some of your most important goals in life?
Tony Merida and Francis Chan commented on this: ”This passage is also important because it reminds believers of their need to stay focused on the true gospel of Yeshua. As mentioned, salvation isn’t about knowing some things about Yeshua. But it’s also not about doing religious things to earn acceptance before Yeshua.
”This passage is also important because it reminds believers of their need to stay focused on the true gospel of Jesus. As mentioned, salvation isn’t about knowing some things about Yeshua. But it’s also not about doing religious things to earn acceptance before Yeshua.
This text really speaks against the problem of legalism, that is, the temptation to derive your justification before God, your acceptance by God, and your forgiveness from God by your own religious works.
We’re reminded here that you can’t earn salvation. It’s a gift to be received. But even dedicated believers have a tendency to forget the gospel daily. They have a tendency to revert back to legalism, as the book of Galatians so powerfully points out (see ).
Legalism is self-atonement. It’s a self-salvation project that only leads to pride or despair. We must resist the gospel of human achievement.
Tony Merida and Francis Chan, Exalting Jesus in Philippians, ed. David Platt, Dr. Daniel L. Akin, Tony Merida, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2016), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 132.

Exhortation to Avoid False Teachers (3:1–21)

1.Exhortation to Avoid False Teachers (3:1–21)

Paul’s Experience Explained (3:1–16)

Apostolic Safeguard (3:1)

Some suppose from the shift of tone in v. 1 that Sha’ul had planned to end his letter here but was suddenly apprised of new activity among the Judaizers and responded with the sharp warning which follows. But I think he had already decided to repeat what he had written … before (namely, the exhortation to humility of chapter 2), by restating it negatively as a warning not to boast (v. 3), since humility excludes pride. Further, just as he used the Messiah himself as the supreme positive example (2:5–11), he uses the boasting Judaizers as a counterexample (vv. 2–9).

Dr. Stern above references that with Chapter 3 Paul does a negative review of the lesson of humility in Chapter 2. In Chapter 2 we see the ultimate example of humility and servanthood in Messiah Yeshua and then in 2 examples of models of Yeshua, Timothy and Epaphroditus. In verse 3 we see the negative example of the pride of the Judaizers, which we can understand as Gentile converts to Judaism that are seeking to have the Gentiles coming to believe in Yeshua in Philippi to be circumcised to “really be saved”. As to the need for Gentiles to be circumcised to be Yeshua followers, the Jerusalem Council in was clear that Gentiles can join the Messianic community as Gentiles. This does not apply to Jewish believers who shall continue to circumcise their sons in accordance with their relationship to Abraham and the Covenant made with Abraham.
was clear that Gentiles can join the Messianic community as Gentiles. This does not apply to Jewish believers who shall continue to circumcise their sons in accordance with their relationship to Abraham and the Covenant made with Abraham.

True Circumcision (3:2–6)

There is good reason to think that these Judaizers were not Jews by birth but fanatical Gentile proselytes preoccupied with physical circumcision, in which they took inordinate pride, regarding it as the necessary means of initiation into the people of God (see 1C 9:20b; Ga 5:2–4&N, 6:12–13&N).

Those known as Judaizers were commonly Gentiles that converted to Judaism by being circumcised, which was the only way to fully join with the Jewish People before the coming of Yeshua, and they saw themselves as being superior to the Gentiles that were coming to believe in Yeshua and were coming as Gentiles. They saw their circumcision as making them double saved or a super-believer. This was the huge problem in Galatia and the main issue for Paul to write his letter to Galatia. The Judaizers could also be Jews that did not accept the ruling of the Jerusalem Council in and are seeking to require Gentiles to convert to Judaism first before being considered fully saved or fully members of the Messianic community.

Decrying the False (3:2)

Sha’ul is saying that circumcision does not provide the Judaizers with any spiritual advantage but results in their spiritual mutilation (compare Ga 5:12&N).

On the contrary, the spiritually circumcised are we who have “circumcised hearts and ears” (Ac 7:51&N, alluding to metaphors found in the Tanakh; see references there), we who have had the “foreskins of our old nature” removed (Co 2:11–13a&N), we who worship by the Spirit of God and make our boast in the Messiah Yeshua, … not … in human qualifications of any sort (vv. 4–9), literally, “not in flesh,” not in “a circumcision … done by human hands” (Co 2:11).

Back to basics: Jews are Jews—have been, are, will be. Messianic Jews are Jews. Non-Messianic Jews are Jews. Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles—Jews and Gentiles who put their trust in Yeshua the Messiah—constitute the Body of the Messiah, the Messianic Community. By their faith Gentiles become Christians, not Jews; as Christians they become joined to Israel without becoming Jews. Gentiles can become non-Messianic Jews by conversion to non-Messianic Judaism.

Conclusions: A believing Gentile, spiritually circumcised but physically uncircumcised, has been grafted into Israel by faith (Ro 11:16–26&NN, Ep 2:11–16&NN), so that the promises given to Abraham apply to him as well (Ga 3:6–14&NN, 26–29&N). Yet he remains a Gentile and should not receive physical circumcision except possibly under very special circumstances (Ac 16:1–3&NN, 1C 7:17–20&NN, Ga 5:2–4&NN). On the other hand, a non-Messianic Jew, physically circumcised but spiritually uncircumcised because he does not trust in Yeshua the Messiah, is nevertheless a Jew; and even though he is a cut-off branch, he can be grafted back in again (Ro 11:16–24&NN). A Messianic Jew, circumcised both physically and spiritually, should take vv. 4–9 as a warning not to make this “double circumcision” into a ground for boasting, which is always a temptation; for in God’s Messianic Community there is no first- and second-class citizenship based on whether one is circumcised (1C 7:19; Ga 5:6, 6:15) or Jewish (Ep 2:14) or on any other external criterion (Ga 3:28, Co 3:11). For a fuller discussion of these issues see Ro 2:28–29&N and Ga 6:16&N.

Describing the True (3:3–6)

Verse 3

Back to basics: Jews are Jews—have been, are, will be. Messianic Jews are Jews. Non-Messianic Jews are Jews. Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles—Jews and Gentiles who put their trust in Yeshua the Messiah—constitute the Body of the Messiah, the Messianic Community. By their faith Gentiles become Christians, not Jews; as Christians they become joined to Israel without becoming Jews. Gentiles can become non-Messianic Jews by conversion to non-Messianic Judaism.

Conclusions: A believing Gentile, spiritually circumcised but physically uncircumcised, has been grafted into Israel by faith (Ro 11:16–26&NN, Ep 2:11–16&NN), so that the promises given to Abraham apply to him as well (Ga 3:6–14&NN, 26–29&N). Yet he remains a Gentile and should not receive physical circumcision except possibly under very special circumstances (Ac 16:1–3&NN, 1C 7:17–20&NN, Ga 5:2–4&NN). On the other hand, a non-Messianic Jew, physically circumcised but spiritually uncircumcised because he does not trust in Yeshua the Messiah, is nevertheless a Jew; and even though he is a cut-off branch, he can be grafted back in again (Ro 11:16–24&NN). A Messianic Jew, circumcised both physically and spiritually, should take vv. 4–9 as a warning not to make this “double circumcision” into a ground for boasting, which is always a temptation; for in God’s Messianic Community there is no first- and second-class citizenship based on whether one is circumcised (1C 7:19; Ga 5:6, 6:15) or Jewish (Ep 2:14) or on any other external criterion (Ga 3:28, Co 3:11). For a fuller discussion of these issues see Ro 2:28–29&N and Ga 6:16&N.

Gentiles who have accepted circumcision have less ground for boasting than Sha’ul (v. 4), who lists his external qualifications (vv. 5–6), seven of them in ascending order, only to dismiss them as not merely neutral but a disadvantage in comparison with the supreme value of knowing the Messiah Yeshua as my Lord (vv. 7–8), indeed, as garbage (literally, “dung”), so far as their usefulness for attaining righteousness from God (v. 9) is concerned.

In regard to the Torah, a Parush, a Pharisee; Sha’ul called the P˒rushim “the strictest party in our religion” (Ac 26:5). Indeed, he was no ordinary Parush but was “trained at the feet of Gamli’el in every detail of the Torah of our forefathers” (Ac 22:3&N), Rabban Gamli’el I being the outstanding teacher among the P˒rushim of that time. Moreover, wrote Sha’ul, “since I was more of a zealot for the traditions handed down by my forefathers than most Jews my age, I advanced in traditional Judaism more rapidly than they did” (Ga 1:14&N).

As a result of all these things, he was in regard to the righteousness demanded by legalism, blameless, which is far more than the Judaizers were (Ga 6:12–13) but far less than Z’kharyah and Elisheva were (Lk 1:6&N). On the very crucial decision to translate “nomos” as “legalism” and not “law” or “Torah,” see Ga 2:16bN, especially the quotation from Cranfield’s Commentary on Romans. Sha’ul was following all the rules as he had learned them, yet his heart was full of pride, which excluded trust, since trust requires humility, the opposite of pride. But trust is the primary requirement of the Torah (Ro 9:30–10:10&NN), and this Sha’ul lacked. Therefore he was by no means blameless in regard to the righteousness demanded by the Torah as it truly is, only in regard to the righteousness demanded by the system which results when the Torah is perverted into legalism. This matter is taken up again in v. 9.

True Values (3:7–11)

Sha’ul does not mean that all the deeds which he did as a non-Messianic Jew were contemptuous, but that his pride in them he now regards as contemptuous.

Evaluation of Paul’s Former Life (3:7–8)

Sha’ul does not mean that all the deeds which he did as a non-Messianic Jew were contemptuous, but that his pride in them he now regards as contemptuous.

In this verse, Paul is not denigrating Judaism or his life of practicing Judaism or denigrating the observance of others. Here he is speaking against any pride that he had over his spectacular Jewish resume, not just a Jew, but a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, from which Saul the first king arose, he was a student of Rabban Gamaliel, the great Jewish sage, but all of this can’t compare to knowing the Messiah.

Aspiration of the New Life (3:9–11)

The Messiah’s faithfulness to God by being “obedient unto death” (2:6–8), not Sha’ul’s faith in the Messiah (on this understanding see Ro 3:22N, Ga 2:16cN). Sha’ul’s faith in the Messiah is adequately covered by the phrase, “based on trust,” at the end of the verse. On the word “righteousness,” see Ga 2:16aN. The present verse summarizes Sha’ul’s teaching in Galatians and Romans on the subject of how people are made righteous by God.

True Zeal (3:12–16)

Paul’s Desire to Fulfill His Call (3:12–14)

So that somehow I might arrive at being resurrected from the dead (v. 11). It sounds as if Sha’ul were not sure; there is an apparent conflict with the certainty of 1 Yn 5:11 (“God has given us eternal life”). The common factor is that a believer cannot rest on his laurels—this is pride, lack of humility. He must keep pursuing the goal (v. 14; compare 1C 9:24–27, where Sha’ul uses the same imagery of running a race), or, as Yochanan puts it, he must “keep trusting in the person and power of the Son of God” (1 Yn 5:13).

24 Don’t you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win!

25 Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline, and he does it just to win a laurel wreath that will soon wither away. But we do it to win a crown that will last forever.

26 Accordingly, I don’t run aimlessly but straight for the finish line; I don’t shadow-box but try to make every punch count.

27 I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that, after proclaiming the Good News to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Paul here is not contradicting himself from earlier, now espousing a salvation by works, that his observance of Torah could guarantee his salvation, but is showing us that the life of the believer is an ongoing adventure or race as in , much like the “walk worthy” laguage of Chapter 1:
1
Philippians 1:27 CJB
Only conduct your lives in a way worthy of the Good News of the Messiah; so that whether I come and see you or I hear about you from a distance, you stand firm, united in spirit, fighting with one accord for the faith of the Good News,

Paul’s Encouragement to Other Believers (3:15–16)

The False Teachers’ Character Exposed (3:17–21)

Encouragement to Imitate Paul (3:17)

Brothers, join. Another call to unity (1:27, 2:2; see also 4:2–3). In imitating me. Compare 1C 11:1.

In Chapter 2 we saw the example of Yeshua, Timothy and Epaphroditus, now in Chapter 3, Paul calls his readers to follow his example.

Characteristics of Paul’s Opponents (3:18–19)

Characteristics of Paul’s Opponents (3:18–19)

18–19 Sha’ul seems to be referring not only to the Judaizers (vv. 2–3) but also to other enemies of the Messiah’s execution-stake. Compare Ro 16:17–20.

17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put snares alongside the teaching in which you have been trained—keep away from them.

18 For men like these are not serving our Lord the Messiah but their own belly; by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the innocent.

v. 19 - Paul rejoicing over the Philippians good example and making a call for unity of the community to stand up against all those who seek to divide the community and are enemies of the good news.

Characteristics of True Believers (3:20–21)

20–21 This summarizes the teaching of 1 Corinthians 15.

15:1 Now, brothers, I must remind you of the Good News which I proclaimed to you, and which you received, and on which you have taken your stand,

2 and by which you are being saved—provided you keep holding fast to the message I proclaimed to you. For if you don’t, your trust will have been in vain.

3 For among the first things I passed on to you was what I also received, namely this: the Messiah died for our sins, in accordance with what the Tanakh says;

4 and he was buried; and he was raised on the third day, in accordance with what the Tanakh says;

5 and he was seen by Kefa, then by the Twelve;

6 and afterwards he was seen by more than five hundred brothers at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, though some have died.

7 Later he was seen by Ya‘akov, then by all the emissaries;

8 and last of all he was seen by me, even though I was born at the wrong time.

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