BUT YOU KNOW OF HIS PROVEN
(Acts 16:3-12; 2Co 2:9, 8:8, 22, 24)
"But you know from experience his character which has been approved
after having been tested"
Commentary - Verse by Verse)
the credentials of Timotheus are before you: you know how he has been
tested by long experience," (Lightfoot)
(de) is used here as an adversative
conjunction which places Timothy's character in stark contrast to
those mentioned in the preceding verse. See
term of contrast.
know (1097) (ginosko)
Present tense) means to know from having gained experience and thus the Philippians
knew Timothy's character from personal encounter, as a man who had
stood the test. Do others know by their personal interaction with you
that you are a man or woman who has stood the test? .
for in depth study of the related verb
dokimazo) can describe a trial, test or
ordeal (2Co 8:2). More commonly in the NT dokime refers to that
which has been tested and approved and when used of a person refers to
proven character or tested value. Even as precious metals were tried
by fire, so believers are often tested in the fires of suffering,
adversity and persecution resulting in a purified faith. Three times
they had seen Timothy (Acts 16:13; 19:22; 20:3f.) and so the
Philippians knew “Timothy’s record” and he had stood the test and
proven his worth. Thus they should realize immediately that no
“mediocre substitute” was being sent to them.
adds that dokime means
to be approved by passing a test.
It has the idea of demonstrating under pressure that you have the “right
stuff.” How did Timothy prove himself? By sticking with Paul
through thick and thin. By volunteering to tackle the hard jobs. By
refusing to cut and run under fire. By doing the menial tasks, the
“dirty work” so that Paul was freed up to do what he did best.
Note that this kind of “proving” doesn’t happen overnight. Too many
people want “instant” spirituality and overnight maturity. God doesn’t
work that way. Producing Christian character takes time and effort.
Here’s a simple equation:
T + D = G
T = Time, D =
Discipline and G = Growth. This formula works in every area of
life, whether it be weight lifting, piano playing, Scripture memory,
or learning to speak Ibo. Nothing worthwhile can be conquered in one
evening. You can’t “blitz” your way to spiritual leadership. You’ve
got to do what Timothy did—put yourself under a good leader and then
pay the price over time.
When will we learn that God is not looking for superstars? We already
have too many superstars in the Christian world – people who build
their careers on hype and glitz and marketing pizzazz. God wants
faithful people who have proved their worth over the long haul.
Remember … you can buy talent,
but you can’t buy faithfulness.
In his first
epistle, Paul had written to the Corinthians
"so that I might put
you to the test (dokime),
whether you are obedient in all things."
In his second epistle Paul gives a commendation to
whom we have often tested (verb form dokimazo) and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent
because of his great confidence in you." (2Cor 8:22)
In this verse
Paul is referring to an unnamed
brother in Christ whom he had tested and was willing to trust
dealing with the collection for the saints in Jerusalem.
THAT HE SERVED WITH ME IN
THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL LIKE A CHILD SERVING HIS FATHER:
euaggelion: (Php 2:20 1Cor 4:17 1Ti 1:2, 18, 2Ti
1:2 Titus 1:4)
"that as a child to a father, with me he served as a slave would do in
the furtherance of the good news"
Commentary - Verse by Verse)
He served (1398)
bondservant) means to be in a position of
a bondservant and act accordingly. It describes
a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and
respects. The truly surrendered doulos (which Paul certainly
was, and with whom Timothy was equal souled) had no life of his own,
no will of his own, no purpose of his own and no plan of his own. All
was subject to his master. The bondservant's every thought, breath,
and effort was subject to the will of his master. In sum, the picture
of a bondservant is one who is absolutely surrendered and
totally devoted to his master. What a picture of Paul and Timothy's
relation to their Lord! What an example for all believers of every age
Write it down in large letters:
looks for winners …
God looks for servants.
Matthew Henry adds that "The highest
honour of the greatest apostle, and most eminent ministers, is to be
the servants of Jesus Christ; not the masters of the churches, but the
servants of Christ."
When we get to heaven, we aren’t going to be asked
if we were winners or losers on the earth. Forget about your won-lost
record. The one thing we will want to hear Jesus say is,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
wrote that Paul's description of serving as a
"does not mean that his was a
service of bondage. Rather he served in the whole-hearted obedience of
one who realized that he had been "bought with a price," even the
precious blood of Christ.
There is a story told of an African
slave whose master was about to slay him with a spear when a
chivalrous British traveler thrust out his arm to ward off the blow,
and it was pierced by the cruel weapon. As the blood spurted out he
demanded the person of the slave, saying he had bought him by his
suffering. To this the former master ruefully agreed. As the latter
walked away, the slave threw himself at the feet of his deliverer
exclaiming, "The blood-bought is now the slave of the son of pity. He
will serve him faithfully." And he insisted on accompanying his
generous deliverer, and took delight in waiting upon him in every
possible way. Thus had Paul, thus has each redeemed one, become the
bondman of Jesus Christ. We have been set free to serve, and may well
exclaim with the Psalmist
O LORD, surely I am Your
servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed
my bonds. (Ps 116:16 ).
from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell)
means good news, glad tidings, Saxon = gōd-spell = lit. "good tale,
- The phrase "in the gospel"
means in getting the gospel out to the Roman world. Sharing your faith
to a world who never heard of Christ is rough business. But he was
willing to put himself on the line with all its risks and dangers. He
cultivated character through trusting God in difficulty. (Notes
on Philippians 2:22)
Edwards elaborates on Timothy's proven character, writing
that "These believers didn't have to be
told of Timothy's character, for they knew of it by experience. First,
he was a man of intense loyalty. He related to Paul as a son to
his father, and he labored with him accordingly. Secondly, he was one
of intense servanthood. We see this in "served"... as a
bondslave. Thirdly, we see intense commitment. He served not in
the pursuit of his own things but in "the gospel." (Sermon)
MacArthur adds that "From the time the apostle chose him to serve alongside him, Timothy
surrendered any personal plans he may have had for his life. He began
a non-stop adventure that would bring him great fruitfulness and
spiritual satisfaction, but that would also involve suffering and
J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)