In this passage, Paul holds up Timothy & Epaphroditus as examples of people who ‘conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ’. This passage is important because it offers us a window into the cooperative partnerships that have characterized gospel ministry from the very beginning. Paul wasn’t a ‘paper’ Apostle, he had real relationships and partnerships on which he depended for the spread of the gospel. Cooperation is a key characteristic in shining like stars.
In this message we learn that we can’t do this alone (live the Christian life or carry on kingdom work), we are called to partnership (both inside and outside the walls of the church), and we should celebrate faithful service (in doing so we celebrate what we should aspire to be). These are all key ingredients in learning to live in cooperation with one another and with God as He works in the world.