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Philemon 1_1-6 Loving Concern

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Thanks for the Memories

Philemon v. 1-6

Secular:

  •   Karma… gain points
  •  Pantheism… In service of greater self
  •  Humanism… In service of a better living environment
  •  Unique in faith systems… selfless loving concern
    • Volunteerism… Agencies… Church Life
    • Modelling Christ

Biblical:

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, 2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints; 6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake.

Personal:

  • We gather on Sunday and hear that we are called to a higher standard….
  •  Sometimes it is frustrating… (but the why?)
  •  Imagine Philemon… he is  a Christian, faithful member of the church at Colossae
  •  Onesimus his slave ran away… met up with the church in Rome… and eventually Paul… and became a believer
  •  Now Paul calls Philemon to a higher standard… higher than the laws of the land…. Or even explicit scripture…
  • Onesimus probably stole (I mean how does a slave have the resources to get to Rome?)
    • He cost his master
  • Paul says to him put it aside and call him brother! 

Bridge:

  •  What a great environment to live….
  • In the sphere of  loving concern
  •  We are called to this higher standard
  • When we look at forgiveness we can this is an act of choice based on key elements of our faith
  •   The world only wants to forgive “when I feel like it”
  •  We are called to loving concern!

Body:

Introduction    1-3

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, 2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  •  Imagine being Philemon… opening a letter and the first word is… Paul!
  • Customary of ancient letters to start with the name of the author…
    • So Paul and Timothy…
  •  This is the apostle to gentiles… his father in faith… the bold proclaimer… personal witness to Christ…
  •  Writing to an individual…
    • Only Titus and Timothy
      • But church issues…
      • This is very personal… to his household… to him specifically
  •  Apphia… his wife… and Archippus… likely his son… fellow soldier…. And all who gather with you…
    • Colossians 4:17 Say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."
  • Ever asked “how are you doing”… to someone knowing you were invoking something…
    • “How are you… on your 40th”
  • Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Paul the Jew amongst Jews would know even in this simple statement… would raise an eyebrow…
    • But he used it often…
    • Tying the grace and peace of the Father with Jesus…
    • In the age of hostility it was a continued BOLD declaration…
  • This is the introduction…
  • Paul the Apostle and Timothy his fellow labourer… to his beloved Philemon and his family…
  • Apostle… Spiritual Father… Co-labourer… Committed to Christ…
  • Paul is going to begin to move to the heart of the matter… and that is forgiveness…
  • The letter’s main topic… to bring about the reconciliation of the relationship between Philemon and his slave… a new brother in Christ… Onesimus…
  • So Paul is going to show the character of a true believer… and one who can forgive…
  • He is going to outline it in a character of concern….

A Concern for the Lord          4-5a

4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus

  • What was Paul up to… puffing up ol’ Philemon… I thank my God always…
    • Encouragement
    • Support
    • And environment promoting faithfulness to Christ…
    • This is strength against sin… and discouragement…
  • Forgiving… Believer…
    • Marked by concern for the Lord.
    • Remember God 1st…
    • Christians forgive… because they are forgiven
    • Romans 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." 13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; 14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS"; 15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,…
  • Bitterness, selfishness, do not characterize the life of those who are forgiven…
  •  Remembering God 1st
  • Forgiveness comes from concern for the Lord…

A Concern for People         5b

I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus …and toward all the saints;

  •  Agape… toward all the saints
    • NAU Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
    • Mark of a believer
  • NAU Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
    • It isn’t about who we are… it is about who we are in Christ… marked by concern for others!
  • NAU 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
    • Different than friendship… companionship…
    • It is stronger… more profound
    • 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
    • Forgiveness for each other… in Christ
  • NAU 1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
    • Not something we should have to learn or be taught… by each other
    • Just as we are new creatures… indwelt by the Spirit… that should flow through us…
  • NAU Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    • The Spirit resides within us…
    • Normal is living that way…
    • It is sinful old corpse that leads us astray…
    • “The Dead Body Drag”
  • Forgiveness resides in the concern for each other.

A Concern for Fellowship          6a

6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith

  • Koinania… fellowship… but more belonging in a strong sense… bound together in faith…
  • We share a Saviour, a redemption, the Spirit, truth… we are not just an audience…
  • Forgiveness is possible with concern for the Fellowship
  •  We don’t see Lone Ranger Christians… that makes us disconnected… we share our lives… with those we are most intimately connected…
  • Can you see why forgiveness would flourish in this context?
  • Forgiveness because of concern for the Fellowship

A Concern for Knowledge          6b

may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing

  • NAU Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
    • We have received spiritual blessing and renewal and hope
    • We have a rich spiritual blessing…
  • NAU 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
    • We are new creatures…
    • These new creatures have a hunger… and a capacity for God’s Word…
    • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
  •  Forgiveness resides in a concern for the Word… for true knowledge…
    • Where do we learn about  sin, forgiveness, love, being loved, about relationship, fellowship… about our God… whom we are called to be imitators?
    • Before sky diving I read some books… I learned what it was about…
      • But I had not experienced it…
    • I spent8 hours of intense training… trying to understand what was ahead of me…
      • But I had not experienced it
    • But it was very different the first time I got out of the plane!
      • I experienced!! It…
      • Good to read the Word
      • Good to be discipled
      • Good to have a good foundation….
      • But we need to practice it…
    • Forgiveness is concern for knowledge…. Because when we know we have the mandate to do it!

A Concern for Glory   6c

…which is in you for Christ's sake.

  •  
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
  • A forgiving spirit… pleases God…
  • Those who have experienced  forgiveness give forgiveness…
  • Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
  • Recognizing how we have been forgiven… and having a genuine concern for the Glory of God… will underpin our forgiving Spirit…

Conclusion:

Introduction    1-3

  •  Words of Paul to a friend… not an enemy… call is to someone he loves…
  •  Exercise the benefit of liberty to the benefit of others and to God

A Concern for the Lord          4-5a

  • Testimony to who your leader is….
  •  Followers reflect leader…
  • Kids… reflect parents
  • Players reflect coach
  • Believers… in whom are what they believe
  • Do people see Christ in your following
  • Forgive as Christ forgives

A Concern for People 5b

  • Love the People of God  - Agape
  • Love the lost – agape
  • Should be intrinsic… we are the loved unlovable… we should love that way
  •   Builds a desire to forgive

A Concern for Fellowship      6a

  • Bound together… support… encourage… purpose…
  • No LONE RANGERS
  •  Forgiveness amongst those who Worship together

A Concern for Knowledge     6b

  • Know Christ, Know Heart, Through the Word
  •   Hunger / Capacity for God
  • Mandate to Forgive

A Concern for Glory   6c

…which is in you for Christ's sake.

  • Do all for Christ
  •  Model Him
  • Bring Glory
  • Forgive as he has forgiven
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