Paul’s Love For Believers In Christ

0

Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to Philemon about 60 A.D.; about the same time he wrote Colossians. He wrote this while being imprisoned, the first time, by the Roman government, most likely in Ephesus.

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother. To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker. 2- to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home.

In those days, of the early churches, and also in places today, churches are held in people’s homes. This was and is a common practice. Jesus tells us that where two or more are gathered in my name, I too will be there. ( Matthew 18:20)

vs 3- Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

vs 4- I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your Love for all the saints. 6- I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7-Your love has given me great joy an encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Spirits.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

vs 8- Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9- yet I appeal to you on the basis of love.

vs- 10- I appeal to you for my son, Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.  11- Formally he was useless to you, but now he has become useful to you and to me. 12- I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.

vs 15-Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— 16- no longer a slave, but better, than a slave, a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you both as a man, as a brother in the Lord.

vs 17- So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18- If he has done you any wrong, or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19-I Paul am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.

vs 23-25- Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24- And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25- The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit.

*

Paul wrote this letter out of concern for his Christian brother Onesimus. Onesimus was a runaway slave, owned by Philemon. By Roman law, that offence was punishable by death. Paul and Onesimus met in Rome, there, Onesimus became a believer in Christ.

Paul wants to send Onesimus back to Philemon. His assignment is to preach the gospel in Paul’s absence. Paul is an elderly man and still in chains within the Roman prison. Onesimus is young, full of zeal for the Lord. Paul pleads with Philemon to accept his former slave as a fellow brother in Christ. If he demands payment, charge the slave price to Paul; Paul guarantees payment in full.

vs 17- So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18- If he has done you any wrong, or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19-I Paul am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.

This sounds like a teaching of Jesus. If someone owes us anything, charge it to what we owe Jesus. A-men.

*

This letter shows the high level of importance Paul places on a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though Onesimus was a runaway slave, once converted to Christianity, Paul felt he should be awarded free man status, based on his relationship with Christ. Paul felt his Christian status overrode Roman law. He felt Philemon should be reasonable and set his former slave free; forgiving the monetary  worth of his slave and the money that Onesimus had stolen from him. If he was not forgiving the debt, then charge it to Paul. But still, release Onesimus from slavery. No Christian should be a slave to a person.

*

If Paul were alive today, he would no doubt feel the same way about Christians; that we should be at a higher level in society because of our faith in Christ.  Although that would be nice, it is far from what Jesus teaches and it was far from what Paul experienced in his own life.

Never- the- less, Paul’s passion for converting people was unmistakable.  His love for people unmatched. His life, after his conversion, testifies to this. Paul journeyed on his first missionary trip to Antioch, his second missionary journey to Antioch, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, and the stop in Philippi where he was imprisoned for two years. His third missionary journey and forth were to many of the same cities plus more, including Tarsus and Anatarbus.  Paul’s fifth, and final missionary journey took place when he was an elderly man, in the fall of 60 A.D..  He sailed to Italy, which included being shipwrecked near Malta, then visited several cities along the way to Rome where he was eventually imprisoned; he preached for two years while awaiting a trial for alleged crimes that he was imprisoned for.  In May or June 68 A.D. Paul was beheaded in the Roman prison.

Altogether, Paul was imprisoned for nearly six years during his tenure as a missionary, while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul’s missionary life is a testimony to his love and endurance for Christ and for fellow believers in Christ. He writes of having to work harder than other people, put in prison more frequently, flogged more severely, exposed to death again and again. Five times he received the Jews forty lashes minus one. Three times beaten with rods. Once stoned. Three times shipwrecked, a night and day in the open sea. In constant danger everywhere. Gone without food and shelter many times

No one understood the concept of running your race like the Apostle Paul. He ran his race for Christ like very few before or since. His life reflects that.

For more information on running your race, I invite you to read my article: Run Your Race For Jesus

https://bestill876095733.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/run-your-race-for-jesus/

No one loved Jesus or Christians more than Paul. We all can look at the examples he set in motion for us to follow. His endurance, dedication, and sacrifices, are legendary. He knew how to love; a true warrior for Christ.

May we all be warriors for Christ and Love,

Gary The Tested

Advertisements