Sunday Morning Podcast March 10, 2019. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: PHILEMON 1:1-2
1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
Paul was writing with thanks to Philemon, a beloved fellow laborer, in an effort for cooperation, and who was also a part of a “house church,” located in a little village, near a river that wound around and through a valley, by some trade routes and ports of Ephesus. The church of this particular area, and time, consisted of church in the home, so thus were mentioned as a “church in thy house.” Here, Paul also was writing of a “church” he had been instrumental in “planting” in that location. In the letter Paul tells Philemon, in a type of “confrontation,” to treat Onesimus as a brother (who apparently had run away), and not as before of a servant, but instead, now above one. (Philemon verse 16). It would be good to know and remember that this was in a time era, where the worldview in acceptance of servants and slaves, were commonplace, and how they were not thought of as being equal with free men. So for Onesimus to have run away, would be customarily thought of as a great breaking away from the laws, that allowed men to be owned in servitude. But Paul’s ministry was about all men being able to be equal in God’s sight, through the Salvation of Jesus’s shed blood.
Paul wants Philemon to understand what a changed “worldview” w as going to mean, to now be built on the Rock Christ Jesus. It would mean to have a spirit of cooperation, instead of confrontation with things not customarily accepted. “Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?” Philemon verse 16. Paul also reminds Philemon, that he was serving the Lord, because of Paul’s ministry to him. So by that same token, Paul inferred that Philemon should want to see Onesimus also free to serve Jesus equally with all the brethren of Christ. Paul was using a peaceful confrontation, to bring about cooperation in Christ. An example of being easily entreated. For the purpose of Christ is to purchase the body with His own blood. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 This is where our life in Christ is defined.
Cooperation and Confrontation…..