The Character of Philemon

We have, in Philemon 4-7, an example of how a Christian should live out his faith. Philemon’s genuine love and faith, in and towards the Lord Jesus resulted in his love for others.

Paul wrote in Philemon 4: “hearing of your love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints.” We need to live out our faith as Philemon did. He did not keep his faith to himself. Paul had hears of this brothers faith. Some other instances of Christians being faithful and word getting back to fellow believers are found in 2 John 4 and 3 John 3-4.

As a result of Philemon’s love and faith towards Jesus, he shares that faith. He became a doer as well as a hearer of God’s Word. (James 1:22) He puts his Christianity into practice.

Because he is “in Christ,” his faith has become effective, thus seeking to obey the admonition of Jesus, “If you love Me, you will (keep on keeping) My commandments.” (John 14:15)

This results in a life where one’s faith rubs off on those around him. Folks see you serving God and knowing that it is real for you can motivate others to seek to serve Jesus more and more.

It can result in striving to reach the lost and strengthen the saved. It will motivate us to help the lost out of the “the kingdom of darkness and be conveyed to the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Col. 1:12-14)

Philemon 7 says that he refreshed people. “Refreshed” is a military term that speaks of an army resting from a march.

Only good is said about Philemon. Paul thanked God for him and expected hi. To do more than he was asked. Philemon was a second-mile Christian. He abounded in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58). May we strive to imitate Philemon as he sought to be conformed to the image of the Son of God.

-Larry Miles

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