First, Paul calls Epaphroditus brother, which is a little unusual since Jews only called each other brother or sister
For Paul to call a gentile “brother” was a big deal—and he does it over and over in this letter to the Philippians, calling the church his brethren.
In Christ Jesus we are all children of God through faith (Galatians 5:26)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free man, neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28)
Paul calls Epaphroditus a “fellow worker”.
This term is used in the New Testament for those who are laboring for God
It’s up to God to choose what the work will be because it’s His work that needs to be done, and it’s our part to make ourselves available when He calls us to it.
Paul calls Epaphroditus, ‘my fellow soldier’.
Continue to strive to be as closely conformed to Jesus as we can, cooperating with the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the image of Jesus, to look more and more like Jesus.
Despite all of the hardships and suffering, despite all of the adversaries and persecutions, to stay in the battle. We stay in the battle because of faith. Zecheriah 4:6b ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
It’s God’s battle and God’s victory, so we must fight the battle God’s way.
who is also your messenger and minister to my need
Epaphroditus is the messenger from the Philippian church.
Not only that, Epaphroditus was there to minister
Paul is immediately thanking God for His mercy.
The Philippians joy that he’s been trying to encourage them toward is probably being decreased by their worry for Epaphroditus
Paul is telling them to receive Epaphroditus, in the Lord, which means as a brother or sister in Christ with hearts full of joy
We honor those who have suffered for the work of God is because God honors them.