The Christian Answer (Philemon)

“Confident of your obedience, I  write to you knowing that you will do even more than I say.”  Philemon 21

The choice was before him, “If he preferred charges, it would mean certain conviction and crushing judgment.”  All he had to do was to say, “I make the following charge against him.”  But to the shock of the judge and jury he said, “I make no charge against this man.”  Here was a guy who had been beaten by a neighbor, but in an amazing fashion, he held no grudge.  In this moment we ask, “What made the difference?”  The difference was Jesus and the love that Jesus had placed in the offended parties heart.

The fact is, “The Christian response” should always be love and forgiveness.  This is clearly illustrated in our More For Christ readings.  The Apostle Paul writes a personal letter to a Christian brother in Colossae.  His name is Philemon.  In this letter Paul teaches us about the proper Christian response to the circumstances of life.

1.  Paul addresses Philemon’s character Vs: 1-7

Philemon has opened his heart to the gospel and now he has opened his home for a church in the city of Colossae.  This man has also opened his hand to the community.  Paul is confident the word of the Lord will be forth.

2.  Paul addresses Philemon’s circumstance Vs: 8-16

Philemon had experienced the loss of  a slave by the name of Onesimus.  This slave had travelled to Rome.  He has encountered Paul and his preaching.  God opened his heart to the Gospel.  Now Paul is sending him back, “not as a slave but as a brother.”  Here is Philemon’s circumstance:  1.  Will he forgive the slave who wronged him?  2.  Will he forge a new brotherhood with the man who had been saved?  He is now to be considered a beloved brother.

3.  Addresses Philemon with confidence, Vs: 17-22

Paul believes Philemon will do more than he asks him to do.  Paul is even willing to pay for whatever this man has taken from Philemon.

In all of this we see the great picture of Christian love and forgiveness.  This is what Christ did for us and this is what we are to do for others.

Certainly I do not know your particular circumstances this morning.  But I feel compelled to ask, “What will be your answer to your circumstance?”  I have confidence that your Christian character will come through.    God be praised in your Christian answer today!!!

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