Timothy - A Commendable Servant of God

Bible Book: Philippians  2 : 19-24
Subject: Servant; Service; Loyalty; Faithfulness

In Philippians 2:5-11 the Apostle Paul outlines the Christian’s example, being none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. However, he carries along this glorious truth and presents example of a great Christian.  Paul praised his fellow-worker, and after thinking about Christ’s servanthood, he remembered that he lived with a servant, Timothy, who had the same disposition. Paul saw Timothy as a valued servant in the context of the ministry the Lord had entrusted to him.

Timothy had the heart of a servant. The servant’s heart grows in us as we yield to the Lord and seek to serve others. Paul saw this type heart as one that produced joy and an opportunity for other believers to be blessed.

After Paul points to Jesus as the Supreme Example, he points to Timothy as the Servant Example. If we are to learn anything about humility and selflessness, we must look to Christ.

Today as we celebrate Jim Law’s 25th anniversary at FBCW, I wish to celebrate his Servant Example to this body of believers, even as Paul, celebrated Timothy to the Philippian body.

I. The Testimony of the Servant Timothy 19-21

Testimony – is a person’s witness as known by others.

Proverbs 27:2

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;

A stranger, and not your own lips.”

In Proverbs 27:21b “a man is valued by what others say of him.”

In verse 19 Paul spoke of being “encouraged”- Paul having his concern for the Philippians known would “lift his spirit.” He used the unusual word for “cheered” which showed how important this was to him.

Paul’s shepherd heart caused him to concern himself with the spiritual progress of his converts.

Acts 15:36: “Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "’Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.’"

A. Timothy’s Sincerity 20

“like-minded”- like-souled; having so much in common. All the evidence suggests that Timothy was a partner in ministry sharing Paul’s commitment and burdens. Their basic life principles coincided.

Note 3 Evidences:

1. Timothy Had A Genuine Interest In  The Church.

CONCERN: “who will sincerely care for your state?” -naturally care for; genuinely care for. This word was used of children born in wedlock; legitimate. Paul’s commendation was that Timothy had acquired a concern for others that had become second nature in its genuineness.

Timothy had legitimized his testimony. He was for REAL. Again this word “sincerely” translates without wax or sun-tested.

Craftsmen in ancient times often made objects from very costly porcelain, which brought a high market price. During the firing process, because of its fragile delicacy, the porcelain sometimes cracked. A dishonest merchant might attempt to deceive an inexperienced buyer by skillfully filling the crack with a pearly white wax not discernable to the eye. If the vessel was held up to the sunlight, however, it could be sun-tested. The penetrating rays disclosed the tell-tale seam.

Timothy was without wax. There was nothing of shame or hypocrisy in him. He had a kindred spirit.

2.  Timothy Placed Christ Before His Interest  21


Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

As opposed to sacrifice, one of the enslaving sins of believers today is selfishness. It keeps one from sacrificing in serving, leading, giving, and the like. It is self-preservation. Jesus revealed that the basic principle of happy and fruitful living is self-sacrifice. We need to beware of the sin of selfishness which has ensnared the saved and the unsaved alike. Each of us is tempted to put our own desires, ambitions, and plans ahead of God. This tragic sin is sapping the joy and blessing of usefulness from us.

Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Philippians 2:21; “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.”

We all live in one of these 2 chapters.

Timothy was a giver, not a taker.

Heavenly Minded Earthly Minded In The Spirit  In The Flesh

Unselfish  Selfish

Consumed - Consumed With Christ  With Self

Has Much Gain Has Much Greed

Dead To Self Dead To Christ

Known By God - Known By The World

3.  Timothy Took Care Of Paul As If He Was His Father.


II. The Training of the Servant Timothy  22

A. His Proven Character  22

1 Timothy 3:6-7: “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

You can allow your branches to go out further than your roots go down. When that happens you eventually topple.

Acts 16:2: “He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.”


Timothy had tested value! Having had opportunity to observe Timothy closely, Paul knew from experience what he was like. His whole life was given to the Gospel. Timothy’s commitment to Jesus Christ was lived out in his commitment to others and to the Gospel. Timothy sought the good of Christ by seeking the good of His people and of the Gospel.

B. His Personal Commitment 22

“served with me” – shared with me in the Gospel. He had a proper motivation; submissive.

Paul considered Timothy as one of his children. All that Paul and Timothy had done together had been with the gospel in view; in the interest of the gospel. Timothy had served Paul faithfully, which was Timothy’s way of serving God faithfully.

Timothy’s motivation for service was his interest in furthering the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His service was sacrificed in that Timothy had surrendered any personal plans in order to serve Paul. Being available to the Lord essentially meant being serviceable to the Lord and His apostle.