The Man Philemon is a Great Man
The letter was written by the Apostle to Philemon about the servant named Onesimus being saved under the ministry of the Apostle in the prison.
Onesimus had known the Apostle well in the old days when Paul visited the house of his master Philemon, who seems to have been a man of importance. His house was large enough to admit a church assembling in it and to accommodate the Apostle and his traveling companions when they came to the city.
Apphia, his wife, was also a Christian, and Archippus, their son, was engaged in some kind of Christian work in connection with the infant Christian community which they were nursing. Compare Philemon 1:1-2 with Col 4:17.
It is beautiful to observe the Apostle’s humility in associating these obscure people with himself as fellow workers.
Onesimus had been a runaway slave, and fleeing to Rome, had been converted by the ministry of Paul-whom I have begotten in my bonds. The converted slave had become very dear and useful to his benefactor, Philemon 1:12-13.
The Apostle now sends him back to his former owner with this letter, pleading that he be once more received into the household of Philemon.
Phm 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
Apostle Paul and Philemon are close friends, and a friend that he could not forget but pray for constantly.
What does that tell you? Do you make mention of the names of people that you care about in prayers?
My focus today is on the two Biblical traits of the man named Onesimus whom Apostle Paul wrote this letter to.
A. Philemon’s love and faith are Displayed
Philemon 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
Philemon did not just believe Christ as the only hope, he is fruitful, and people are witnessing these Christian traits about him.
First, his love and faith in Christ Jesus come first.
Beloved, there is no way you can be productive if you are not a Christian, and being a Christian is not coming to church as many think.
Many people think that the moment they join a church, then they are saved, and go to Heaven, but it is not true. You must put your faith in Christ Jesus only.
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Please don’t tell me how much you love Jesus Christ if you are not willing to show me how you love him. There are so many people out there that do not know the love of Christ, but if you don’t love Jesus Christ, then you will not be able to love others.
These believers are not saved without any doubt, because the Apostle expresses that what saved them is their faith, and nothing else.
Second, he demonstrated love and faith to others.
There is no way you can love others if you have not received the love of God. And anyone that has trusted Christ has received the love of God, the Bible says, God is love, and that not that we love him, but he, first of all, loves us.
Love is who God is all, and that is why man cannot fully express the love of God to others if the Love of God is foreign to him.
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
True love is expressed, and not static, it is dynamic. Where love is, people feel it. And that is why whenever you talk, people can feel the love of God in your life. You are not just a talker, but the doers.
How do you express this love to others?
By giving the gospel to unbelievers?
By helping the poor and the needy?
By helping those that are afflicted.
Are you doing all these things?
My challenge for you this morning is to learn that being a Christian is just about you going to Heaven alone, but showing the love of Christ to others.
I hope that the life of Philemon will challenge your Christian life, that you will not live a mediocre Christian life, and that you will go beyond norms.
What are the norms? Everyone is expected to come on Sunday morning then I come on Sunday morning?
Bible Reading Plan for 2022
Beyond norms? Coming every time the door of the church is opened, and doing what you are asked to do to make a place of worship a better place.