Friday, January 6, 2012

There are worse things...

January 6, 2012

Philemon 1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus…

Paul could have begun this letter with any manner of greetings; he used his status as an apostle to start 2 Timothy for example. So, he could have chosen to do that here and no one would have or could have had a problem with that. But yet, he didn’t. Instead, he starts off this letter by reminding it’s readers, (Philemon, the church that met in his house, and us,) of his being in prison, which as they would have known was no piece of cake. It would also have reminded them of all that Paul had suffered for the sake of Christ and the gospel. His imprisonment would have reminded those hearing this letter of the times his body had suffered beatings, his starvation, and his pain; so, why would Paul have chosen this greeting. According to MacArthur, he did so specifically for Philemon, but of course, we all can benefit from it as well. In this letter, Philemon will be encouraged to accept and freely forgive Onesimus, his one-time slave, who had betrayed him. Paul wanted to remind Philemon that although hard, forgiveness is not the hardest thing to do for Christ’s sake, and perhaps we need to be reminded of that also.

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