SERIES: “The Book of Philippians”

TEXT: Philippians 2:19-30

MESSAGE: “Close Friendships”

Ronald Sharp, a professor of English at Vassar College, said…“People are so eager to maximize efficiency of relationships that they have lost touch with what it is to be a friend.”

Q: What difference does the gospel make in forging and sustaining close, healthy friendships?

TEXT: Philippians 2:19-30

“Nowhere else in the other references to his proposed journeys does he use this phrase…and this cannot be accidental…This means that his hopes are governed by the Lord’s will for his situation, and equally that his plans do not rest on a human calculation of release and freedom. They are based on God’s undertaking for him.” — R.P. Martin

Close friendships are built on…(1. Genuineness 2. Companionship 3. Character)

  1. Genuineness (v. 19-24)

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.”

“THINK of all the people with whom you interact during the course of a day, week, month and year. The many souls with whom you might exchange a greeting or give a warm embrace; engage in chitchat or have a deeper conversation. All those who, by some accident of fate, inhabit your world. And then ask yourself who among them are your friends — your true friends. Recent research indicates that only about half of perceived friendships are mutual. That is, someone you think is your friend might not be so keen on you. Or, vice versa, as when someone you feel you hardly know claims you as a bestie.” — Kate Murphy

“By highlighting the warm, selfless, Christ-centered character of Timothy, Paul might also be preparing the congregation to listen to his son in the faith. Remember, there are tensions in Philippi. Paul informs the church that Timothy is the type of guy they can trust and listen to in order to resolve the matter. They can be assured that Timothy won’t serve with self-centered motives but will serve the interests of Christ, who longs for unity in His church.” — Tony Merida

       2. Companionship (v. 25-27)

“I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

“Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it.… Therefore, if we care anything about Christ, who is the head of the body, and other Christians—the rest of the body—we simply must move beyond our comfort zones to compassionately meet needs.” — Joni Eareckson Tada

Q: Do you have diverse friendships because of Jesus? 

Judges 6:12 — “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

        3. Character (v. 28-30)

“I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.”

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33

“The measure of every man’s virtue is best revealed in time of adversity – adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is.” — Thomas a Kempis

TAKEAWAYS: How can you build close friendships?

  • Evaluate your motivations for friendship
  • Identify signs of genuine friendship

Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

  • Lasting friendships need grace & understanding

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” — Proverbs 16:24

“All aspects of good speech have distinct capacities of healing various ills. Kind speech can heal anxiety (Proverbs 12:25); gentle speech can extinguish anger and resentment (Proverbs 15:1); forthright words can heal ignorance and self deception (Proverbs 19;25; 27:5). When Jacob asked God for the blessing he had been seeking all his life, God gave it to him (Genesis 32:29). When we believe in Christ, we get this blessing and more.” — Timothy Keller

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” — John 15:13

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