Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleThe Biography of a Servant
Bible TextEphesians 6:21-22
Synopsis In Paul’s action and desire for his Ephesian brethren, together with this short biography of Tychicus, we see four necessary qualities and duties of Christ’s servants: love, faithfulness, communication and comfort. Listen.
Series Ephesians 2013
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: The Biography of a Servant (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: The Biography of a Servant (128 kbps)
Length 38 min.

Series: Ephesians

Title: Biography of a Servant

Text: Ephesians 6: 21-22

Date: February 22, 2015

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


Ephesians 6:21: But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.


Our subject this morning is: “The Biography of a Servant.” Many honorable men in the Bible have short biographies, but they are very instructive. Tychicus is just such a man. Here we are told he was a “beloved brother and a faithful minister in the Lord.”


In Paul’s action and desire for his Ephesian brethren, together with this short biography of Tychicus, we see four necessary qualities and duties of Christ’s servants: love, faithfulness, communication and comfort.




First, is love—“a beloved brother.” (Eph 6: 21)


What do we mean when we call one another “brother”, “sister”, “brethren?” It means he was saved by the same grace of God as was Paul and all God’s saints. “A brother” is one that God the Father chose to save freely in Christ before the foundation of the world. “A brother” is one Christ Jesus justified freely at Calvary when he saved all God’s elect from our sins. “A brother” is one the Holy Spirit found dead in trespasses and sins but regenerated freely by his grace. “A brother” is one with all God’s saints, in the same family, with the same Father, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Eph 2: 19); “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (Eph 3: 15) “A brother” is one with us, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4: 4-6)


A man once told me about a friend of his. He said, “He does not believe God chose a people or Christ died only for them.  He does not believe God’s will is sovereign. He does not believe God must effectual regenerate his people and preserve us.  But he is a faithful brother.”  The title “brother” belongs to those who give God all the glory in salvation. It is a rare title. We do not call everyone “brother.” It is a title reserved for those to whom Christ is All!


Tychicu was a "beloved" brother.  He was beloved of God and Christ from before the foundation of the world. He was beloved of all the saints that knew him, especially beloved of Paul. And he was one who loved his brethren.


Also, we see a “beloved brother” in Paul. Paul gave this man to minister to his brethren at Ephesus.  Obviously, Paul could have used Tychicus himself.  But love for brethren prefers the good of our brethren over our own personal interests.


It is a fruit of the Spirit that makes a “loving and loveable” brother or sister in Christ. By nature, we were haters, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” (Titus 3: 3)


By God’s grace, by God giving a new heart, by Christ being made our Wisdom, Tychicus, was made “loving and loveable brethren.” A man born from above, given true wisdom, is made so, “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Ja 3: 17) Brethren, this is a most honorable quality “a beloved brother.” Christ said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (Jn 13: 35)




Secondly, is faithfulness—“a faithful minister in the Lord.” (Eph 6: 21) It means he was faithful in the work and service of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Cor 4: 2)


Where does faithfulness come from? Faithfulness is not a product of our flesh. But God is faithful. Christ is faithful. So when God puts his Spirit in us, the gift he imparts is faith. One of the qualities which accompanies faith is faithfulness—it is ordained by God.


Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Gal 5: 22:…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,…


Those born of God are faithful. This is why Paul addresses his letters to believers, to the saints, writing, “to the faithful in Christ Jesus”; “to the faithful brethren in Christ.” (Eph 1: 1; Col 1: 2)


Also, Tychicus was faithful because Christ qualified him, appointed him and sent him. The same was true of Paul.


1 Timothy 1:12: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14: And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.


Before sending his ministers, Christ works in them so that they prove their faithfulness to their brethren. Tychicus accompanied Paul on a trip from Macedonia to Asia—that meant they spent a lot of time together.  Paul found him to be of one mind with Paul in the gospel.  He remained faithful to Paul when many had deserted him. He was proven faithful to Paul and Paul sent him to various churches because he was a faithful minister in Christ.


What does it mean to be a faithful minister in Christ.  First, he is faithful to his Lord and Master. He knows himself to be a sinner. All his hope is Christ alone. His desire is for Christ to have the glory: in his life, in his gospel, in the Lord’s house, and in his own house.


“To be a faithful minister in Christ” is to be determined to know nothing among you but Christ and him crucified. He opens his message with God’s word; he gets right to Christ in every passage; he does not preach about Christ, he preaches Christ; he declares Christ is All: the Way, the Truth and the Life and shuts sinners up to this one way.


A faithful minister in Christ preaches the Gospel according to God’s word. He does not read a verse of scripture then ramble about what’s on his mind. He preaches God’s word: phrase by phrase, line by line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.


A faithful minister in Christ is faithful to the souls to whom he ministers. He is willing to forfeit his comforts for the glory of Christ and the good of his people. He knows those to whom he ministers have an eternity to spend: either saved by God’s grace or condemned by their own willful rebellion. He wants to see them saved by grace.


I thank God that he gave me a faithful pastor and a heart to never take it for granted. Don’t take it for granted!




Thirdly, we see the importance of communication between brethren, “But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, [Tychicus], shall make known to you all things: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs…” (Eph 6: 21-22)


Having just referred to his captivity as a prisoner in Rome, Paul knew the Ephesians would desire to know how he was and how things were going; the state of Paul’s health; how he received freedom to preach, while a prisoner; how the gospel was spreading in Rome; how will-workers were affecting his influence as an apostle; would he be released from prison? Faithful ministers want to know their brethren’s affairs and they want their brethren to know theirs. This helps pray for each other.


Paul also communicated to them by introducing and sending them this minister of the gospel. He could not communicate a greater benefit to them. Paul did so for their advantage alone. He does not ask them to do anything for Tychicus; nor that they send any favor back to him. In this, we see the importance of communicating with brethren—both corresponding and by giving them whatever they need.


“Communicating” is what God our Father did for his people. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3: 16); “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 Jn 4: 9) “Communicating” is what Christ did for us. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 Jn 3: 16)


I am thankful that God has given you a heart to correspond and to edify your brethren and other churches. Even as others correspond and edify us. Paul commended his brethren for it, saying, “ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.” (Php 4: 14) The Hebrew writer said, “to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb 13: 16)




Lastly, we see the charge Christ gives his servants, “that he might comfort your hearts.” (Eph 6: 22)


Instead of seeking comfort, he was constantly comforting his brethren. And he sent this faithful servant for that reason. Christ said, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.” (Is 40: 1-2)


Christ says declare their warfare is accomplished, their iniquity pardoned, they have received of the Lord’s hand, they have received double for all her sins. Tychicus could comfort them concerning why the Lord gave Paul these afflictions, as Paul did,


Philippians 1:12: But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13: So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear…19: For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20: According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.


Both Paul and Tychicus were “beloved brothers, faithful ministers in Christ”, they communicated with their brethren, they comforted their brethren. The memories of both are preserved in God’s word because of these qualities. Tychicus’ biography is short but it is so full of instruction for the servants of Christ. Wouldn’t it be good to be remembered as he was: "He faithfully served his Master and he loved his brethren!”