Who do you say that I am ? pt 1

May 21, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment

two weeks ago I went through Phil 1:27-2:18

and called the topic attitude of gratitude 

1:1 – 11

prayer of gratefulness 

and prayer that they continue into greater expressions of faithfulness and love

1: 12 – 26

is about how he is following Christ’s example

1:27 – 2:18

is encouraging them to follow Christ’s example

2:19 – 30 gives two examples of “Christness” (Timothy and Epaphrodites)

3:1 – 4:1 Paul’s example based upon former life vs new life

4:2 – 9  you, now, live out this (Jesus story)

4:10 – 23 closing thanks

these circumstances that you might call hardships , I say they have been my teachers (a gift of God)

they have taught me how to be content in simple dependance on God and trusting Him

last week, Julio taught on Matt 16  “who do you say that I am?”

a question that seems like it has a simple answer

(but to each of us has an answer that reveals our 

  • understanding of just who Jesus is, and perhaps
  • who He ought to be in comparison to how we honestly treat Him in our daily lives)

Do you hear Him asking you the same question ?

“Who do you say that I am ?” is a question that I am hearing Him ask me more frequently that I am frankly, comfortable with.

He asks me 

  • when I am telling His story well
  • and when I am telling my own story instead of His

(sadly, this means I am denying who I claim that I recognized Him to be and demoting Him to someone far lesser)

Paul had a clear understanding of what it meant to say ““You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

(Simon’s response to the question when he was asked)

He is not John the baptist

He is not Elijah the prophet

He is not Jeremiah or any of the OT prophets

He is not even a good man or a moral teacher 

(if that is all you think Him to be … 

for a person who is not the Son of God 

who claims the things he claimed 

would be neither good or moral)

He presses for an answer that only can be revealed to a person by God himself.

The true recognition of Jesus requires receiving a gift from God.   truth.

Jesus called this truth 

(the correct answer to “who do you say that I am?”) “a rock”, 

it was and is the solid unchanging truth that the entire church would and is built upon.

When a human truly grasps this truth of the reality of who Jesus is

it requires a response, a change in thought , and therefore action

small truths offer small corrections in perception of things and therefore require small changes to make small differences

great truths offer great corrections in bad perception, therefore require greater changes and greater differences 

no one can come to true understanding of who He is and be unchanged once the believe it to be true

to dare to answer the Lord asking each of us “who do you say that I am?”

is to also answer “who am I supposed to think like, talk like, act like, and love like?”

(and to accept responsibility for that answer and the knowledge behind it)

Gal. 5:1 ¶ It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Freedom is not about the ability to do what you want.

It is the ability to do what you ought.

The son of God became a man 

So that

Man might become a son of God  C.S. Lewis

who is this Jesus and what freedom did He purchase for us ?

(to be like Him)

Freedom in Christ, looks different than human freedom 

(because it has a different purpose and goal)

it’s goal is to publicly proclaim the answer to the question:

“Who do you say that I am?”

Paul answered this question with his life story

(he showed his faith to be true by his deeds) as written in James 2:18

those who answered this question rightly, and then proved that they believed their answer

are considered heroes of the faith 

men and woman just like you and I,  perhaps differing only in level of conviction

(but there it is, do we have the conviction to walk the talk, to “say” who He is with our lives not just our words)

this is what the namesake “christian” means = christlikeness (those who are willing to “say” who He is out there , with people watching us, reading us, learning “who He is” by “who we act like”

in Christ, we see the first example of what man was meant to be since the garden of Eden.

(man as he was designed to be)

Gal. 5:1 ¶ It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

The son of God became a man 

So that

Man might become a son of God  C.S. Lewis

today, we look at chapter 2: 19-30 Paul’s two other examples of christlikeness in this epistle

two more examples of free men  (two children of the Father)

2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.

2:20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.

2:21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

2:22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.

2:23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;

2:24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

2:25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

2:26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.

2:27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.

2:28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.

2:29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;

2:30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

Timothy (24x)  Τιμόθεος  Timotheos =honoring God

Paul’s spiritual child (1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2), 

later the apostle’s fellow-traveler and official representative. 

his background

first mentioned in Acts 16:1

  • an inhabitant of Lystra (cf. 20:4).
  • child of a mixed marriage
    • Greek pagan father
    • devout Jewish mother, Eunice (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5). 
  • From childhood, had been instructed in the sacred writings of the OT (2 Tim 3:15). 
  • All three became followers of Christ on Paul’s first missionary journey. T
  • imothy knew about the persecutions and sufferings that the missionaries (Paul and Barnabas) had experienced on that first journey (2 Tim 3:11), even before he joined Paul in active missionary labor. 
  • Timothy was ordained by the elders, Paul himself taking part in this solemn laying on of hands. (1 Tim 4:14)


His activity 

  1. Timothy accompanied the missionaries to Philippi and Thessalonica. and Berea. 
  1. Here he and Silas were left behind to give spiritual support to the infant church, while Paul went on to Athens (Acts 17:10-15). 
  1. At Paul’s request Timothy left Berea and met Paul at Athens. Afterward he was sent back to Thessalonica to strengthen the brothers there (1 Thess 3:1-2). 
  1. Both Silas and Timothy joined Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:1, 5). 
  1. On the third missionary journey Timothy was again with the apostle during the lengthy Ephesus ministry. From there he was sent to Macedonia (Acts 19:21-22; 1 Cor 4:17; 16:10). When Paul arrived in Macedonia, Timothy rejoined him (2 Cor 1:1). Afterward he accompanied the apostle to Corinth (Rom 16:21), returned to Macedonia (Acts 20:3-4), and was waiting for him at Troas (20:5). 
  1. He was probably also with Paul in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3). During Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome the two were again in close contact (Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; Philem 1). When Paul expected to be released in a little while, he told the Philippians that he expected to send Timothy to them soon (Phil 2:19).
  1. Timothy was next found in Ephesus, where the apostle joined him. Paul, on leaving, asked Timothy to remain at this place (1 Tim 1:3). While there, Timothy one day received a letter from Paul, the letter we now call 1 Timothy. Later, in another letter, Paul, writing from Rome as a prisoner facing death, urged his friend to come to him before winter (2 Tim 4:9, 21). Whether the two ever actually saw each other again is not recorded.

His character

a blend of amiability and faithfulness in spite of natural timidity. One must read Philippians 2:19-22 to know how highly the apostle esteemed this young friend. None of Paul’s companions is mentioned as often and is with him as constantly as is Timothy. That this relationship was of an enduring nature is clear from 2 Timothy 4:9, 21. Paul knew that he could count on Timothy. He was the kind of person who in spite of his youth (1 Tim 4:12), his natural reserve and timidity (1 Cor 16:10; 2 Tim 1:7), and his frequent ailments (1 Tim 5:23), was willing to leave his home to accompany the apostle on dangerous journeys, to be sent on difficult errands, and to remain to the very end Christ’s faithful servant.

In the popular mind the distinction between Timothy and Titus is not always clear. Both of these men were Paul’s worthy fellow workers but in different ways. Titus was more of a leader; Timothy, more of a follower. Titus was resourceful, a man of initiative in a good cause. One finds in him something of the aggressiveness of Paul. (See TITUS.) Timothy, on the other hand, was shy and reserved. Nevertheless, he manifested his complete willingness even when he was required to do things that ran counter to his natural shyness.


Epaphroditus (2x)     Ἐπαφρόδιτος   Epaphroditos , lovely)

The messenger sent by the Philippian church with gifts to the imprisoned Paul (Phil 4:18). On recovering from a serious illness, Epaphroditus longed to return to his concerned flock. Paul highly esteemed him as “brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier,” and sent him back to Philippi with his letter (2:25-30).

2:29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;

2:30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

risking = put his life at stake, “I’m bringing this to Paul and I may be not live to get there or get out”

Epaphroditus was fully committed to Christ. Many claim to serve Christ, yet few can claim they have nearly died in order to serve the Lord. He was to be honored for his tremendous level of commitment. 

Epaphroditus was also to be honored because he risked his life to serve in ways others could not. The entire church could not leave one country in order to visit Paul in another. However, a single person could; Epaphroditus was that individual.

He was willing, in advance to be a Martyr, a witness to “who do you say that I am?”

This brings us back to how we started this morning …

“who do you say that I am ?”

how do you plan to answer Him ?


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