“Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I learn how you are doing. I have nobody else like him who will genuinely care for your needs. For all the others look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, that as a child with his father he has served with me to advance the gospel. So I hope to send him as soon as I see what happens with me. And I trust in the Lord that I myself will come soon.”
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
Remember, Paul is in a Roman prison at the time he wrote Philippians, awaiting trial. He longed to hear how the Philippian believers were doing, since they were experiencing relational conflicts from within and religious attacks from without (from legalists because of grace). He had heard about these issues from Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25; 4:18).
To find out how they were doing, Paul hoped to send Timothy to them as soon as he heard of the outcome of his trial in Rome. Once Paul was able to send Timothy to the Philippian church, he hoped to receive good news from him that they were doing well...resolving their internal conflicts and withstanding their religious attacks. It was Paul’s hope that he, Paul, would be reunited with them soon.
Timothy was a special person to Paul.They had a father-son relationship. Timothy learned the good news of grace from Paul and served with Paul in advancing God’s grace into cities all over the Roman Empire.
Advancing God’s grace, all that God has freely, fully, and forever done for us in Christ, was Paul’s specific mission given to him by Jesus after his ascension into heaven (Acts 20:23-24). Paul asked Timothy to join his team. Together, they took the good news of God’s grace into many cities for the purpose of establishing grace-based churches in these cities.
Timothy had a heart for those who responded to and received God’s grace through faith in Jesus. With the same care as Jesus, he genuinely cared for the well-being of churches that had been established. He wanted to make sure these churches were spiritually, relationally, morally, and doctrinally healthy and wanted to see them advancing the gospel of grace within their cities.
Timothy was concerned for the churches because so many legalists, those who water down grace with their religious requirements and rules, were preying on churches (Acts 20:22-32), seeking to turn them away from the good news of grace (Galatians 1:6-9). Because of Timothy’s passion for those who received God’s grace and for seeing the good news of grace advanced into their cities, he looked after them genuinely.
Just as Paul and Timothy advanced the good news of God’s grace into cities and established grace-based churches, we need to continue to do the same...advancing God’s grace into countries, cities, communities, villages, and neighborhoods all over the globe.
There are people who have never heard about God’s grace freely given to us in Jesus. There are places where the good news of grace has never been advanced. Therefore, we need healthy churches.
We need churches that are spiritually, relationally, morally, and doctrinal healthy. We need churches that are teaching the fullness of God’s grace, growing in grace, showing grace to each other, and sharing God’s grace with those in their communities.
Churches are the hope of people in cities all over the world because churches have the treasure of God’s grace. It is this treasure of grace that will transform their lives and cause thanksgiving to overflow from their hearts to God’s heart (2 Corinthians 4:15). Therefore, we need healthy churches and people like Timothy who look after their well-being.
As family members of God’s church, his family of grace, the body of Christ...let’s contribute to making God’s church healthy so we can announce his grace to people who have never heard it and advance his grace into places it has never been. Let's advance God's Grace around the globe!
NOTE: This is the continuation of my weekly teachings through Philippians. To read all of my teachings on Philippians, visit my website (simplygrace.info) or my Facebook Page.