Please enjoy this message from Mr. Caleb Janson who filled our pulpit while Pastor Paul had a week off.
Paul reminds Philemon that Philemon owes Paul his very life. Why would Paul say such a thing? Is Paul being arrogant and manipulative? Does Paul have a different motivation for saying such a strong statment to Philemon?
Paul has the authority of an apostle. This means that Paul can give a command and it is as if Christ gives the command. Paul makes a big deal not to appeal to his apostolic authority when he exhorts Philemon. Why does Paul use so many words rather than simply write, “I command you to forgive your brother who ran away!” Why does Paul try so hard not to constrain Philemon through forceful words?
Paul celebrates being a prisoner of Christ Jesus. How can this man be joyful and why is this relevant to Philemon?
The Apostle Paul has written many letters to new churches. His letters to the Corinthian church discloses that Paul is frustrated by the lack of unity in that church. The people claim elitism, they call attention to social class, they call attention to their giftedness, they fail to discipline those who need some Godly correction, and there are more issues that we can list. So, what is the positive solution? What is the church called to do as we sojourn together through this age?
Christ goes through the law and lays out the challenge of the seventh commandment. This is another commandment that one might think is rather easy to keep, but is this really such an easy command to keep? Is this one of the least commands or do we make it one of the least commands? What are some of the implications regarding this commandment?
Love has become something that is rather subjective in our culture. It seems that many today have reduced love down to a feeling or something that is sentimental. How does Paul define love? How does Scripture define love and how is this love not subjective or sentimental?
We know that Paul writes one of the most beautiful passages on love. It is a passage that we use many times for wedding meditations and unfortunately have potentially emptied this passage of its Christian ethic and challenge for the Christian life. So, what does this love have to do with the Christian life? What does this passage on love have to do with telling the truth?