Thursday, January 22, 2009

JOURNEY THROUGH PHILEMON

Is it Phi-le-mon with long "i" and long "e" with the accent on the second syllable? Or is it Phil-e-mon with short "i" and short "e" with the accent on the first syllable? I've heard both and I'm not sure who could answer that question definitively. I prefer the long "i" and "e". Anyway, here are some takeaways from my read through the very short book of Philemon.

  • For whatever reason, Paul wanted to make sure the readers knew that he wrote this letter with his own hands and not through a scribe.
  • This letter acquaints us with Philemon (a slave owner) and one of his slaves Onesimus.
  • Storyline: Onesimus, the slave, a Christian in name only, fled from his owner. He ends up under Paul's mentoring and becomes a true follower of Christ. Now Paul writes Philemon to ask him to be gracious as Onesimus returns. Onesimus hand-carried the letter to Philemon.
  • Verse 2--Evidence that the early church met in homes.
  • Verses 4-7--Philemon was a model believer.
  • Verse 5--Our love for Jesus should always brim over to other believers.
  • Verse 6--Moreover, our faith in God should brim over into good deeds.
  • Verse 10--Spiritually speaking and referring to his relationship with Onesimus, Paul says, "I fathered a child." Do you have anyone you could declare that you fathered in the faith?
  • When Onesimus left Philemon, he was a slave. He returned to his boss a changed man, a true follower of Christ.
  • Even from prison Paul had a contingent of followers/helpers who partnered with him in advancing the gospel.

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