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Philippians, Chapter Two, Lesson Five

THE JOY OF REUNION           Page 4
V.26 (Cont'd.)

** How would you put into your own words the nature of his concern?

He loved the Philippians so much and knew that their love for him would cause them grief at the news of his illness. That's an amazing amount of concern for others.

V.27 ** How sick was he?

To the point of death!

** Have you ever heard it said today that if you just have enough faith you won't ever be sick, or that "God wants you to be healthy"?

That popular thought in some Christian circles is in direct opposition to what is being said in this verse. Epaphroditus was a godly man who worked himself unto illness for the cause of Christ.

cf. 2Timothy 4:20, 1Timothy 5:23, Galatians 4:12-13 - Epaphroditus, Trophimus, Timothy and Paul were all godly men who were sick. Why? What were they to do with their physical weakness? cf. 2Corinthians 12:7-10 (be well content with weakness)

** Back in our passage, what was God's response to Epaphroditus' illness?

"...but God had mercy on him..."

** Did anyone else receive God's mercy?

The apostle Paul did as well, sparing Him from the sorrow he would have experienced in the permanent loss of Epaphroditus (sorrow upon sorrow).

** What was the initial cause of sorrow for Paul?

The great illness of Epaphroditus.

** What could have caused a whole second wave of sorrow?

His death, prevented by the mercy of God!

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