PHILEMON, CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP

Philemon 6 “that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Philemon was one of Paul’s fellow-workers, a „dear friend‟ and a faithful Christian. He had probably been converted under Paul‟s ministry. A house church met at his home and some of the members of that group or of his household are also greeted at the start of the epistle Paul wrote to him. Philemon’s love for „the saints‟ was well known. Philemon had helped refresh the hearts of his Christian brothers and sisters. One of Paul’s prayers for him was that he might be active in sharing the gospel of Christ with others.

Paul’s epistle to Philemon is the shortest letter we have from his pen. It is a personal note requesting that Philemon take back his former slave as a „brother‟ (v. 16). Again and again the apostle emphasized the value of Onesimus to him personally. He had become like a son to Paul while he was in chains for the gospel. Paul’s letter began with a comment on how Philemon had „refreshed the hearts of the saints‟ and he drew it to conclusion asking Philemon to „refresh my heart in Christ‟ (v. 7, 20) by taking Onesimus back. Paul had begun with reference to Philemon’s care for the saints and ended with a request that a guest room be prepared for him too (v. 5, 22).

Even though there is very little written about Philemon, we can know that Paul considered him a close friend, and that he loved God, and tried to spread the gospel of Christ. We probably do not speak enough about Christian friendship. Brothers and Sisters working together to be better Christians and to convert others to Christ. It is vitally important for our spiritual growth, to surround ourselves with other Christians that help us daily to live stronger Christian lives. Becoming a child of God, and then sharing your faith with others. God not only calls us to love and follow Christ, but to also help take as many people as we can to heaven with us.

Contributed by In Search of The Lord’s Way

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