Philemon

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~ Some say this book is one of the most explosive things Paul ever wrote.  Why?  If we allow it, the message will explode our heart.  It will blow out the hardened chunks, making way for the most Excellent Treasure, the Matchless Treasure.

~ The implications of the good news are personal but never private.

To the church that meets in your home

Do you consider your home a church?

Is the grace of God there?

Do you worship together?  Meet for morning prayer?  Evening prayer?

Even if you are alone, it can be a one person church.

Example of Mr. Henry…unconverted guests visited his home were converted during their visit.

You cannot make a holy household if you do not shine with genuine cheerfulness.

“You Christians who wish to make a Church in your house, do not let your own inconsistencies mar any good work in others!”  Spurgeon

Worship – true worship is a treasuring of God above all things.  It is entirely a matter of the heart.  If nothing is happening in your heart toward God it is not worshipping.

Participation in the faith (v6)

The word translated ‘participation/sharing’ is the Greek koinōnia.  It is when two or more people receive something together and share in it, becoming partners. 

Ministry of refreshment (v7)   Part One

Mark 9:41, Proverbs 11:25, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 5:7

Only the water Jesus has quenches the thirst of the human soul (John 4:13-14), and we can only give it to others when we are drinking it ourselves.

Look beyond the world (v14)

Even though Philemon lives in the world, he should LOOK BEYOND the world.  Look to the Eternal law.  This is not only forgiving the crime and debt, this is treating someone better than they deserve.  It is not only forgiving, it is welcoming someone into your family.

We must look beyond the world’s laws (ex:  retribution) and consider the law of Christ.

“So if you consider me a partner (koinōnia), accept him as you would me.”

What to do about injurious debt (v18)

What do we do when we determine someone “owes” us something?  Are we willing to “forgive” injurious debts?

Onesimus and Philemon are reconciled first to God and then to each other.

Ministry of refreshment (v17)   Part Two

How could Philemon refresh Paul’s heart in Christ?  What was Paul really asking him to do?  He states clearly:  Receive Onesimus as you would receive me.

What if instead of treating Onesimus worse than before, he treated him far better – like his own beloved brother?  What if Philemon’s lost neighbors saw his patience and forgiveness and received Christ?  What message does this demonstrate to the church that meets in his home?   How marvelous Jesus Christ would look on that day.

Refresh someone’s heart in Christ.

Amanda

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