Sermon on January 14 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Philemon 1-3
Is true Christian faith only about ‘my’ righteousness? Onesimus – someone who needs forgiveness, Philemon – someone who has opportunity to forgive and Paul – someone who encourages forgiveness
In a grace-full family:
1. WE SERVE BY DIVINE APPOINTMENT! ...‘Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus’ (v1)
- When you know who you are, you love as you must
You are where you are for the gospel, to show the excellence of God’s grace in pitying you and possessing you (1 Pet. 2:9)
- When you know whom you please, you simplify your life
Life can get complicated if we lose sight of whom we should please. When we do, all else falls into place.
2. WE SERVE WITH DEDICATED PARTNERS!
- Grace-serving is affectionate, not dutiful ‘Philemon, our dear friend … Apphia our sister’ (v1b, 2)
Do we appreciate one another as beloved family, before appreciating each other for what we do?
‘If I could not be who I am…I would most like to be Lady Churchill’s second husband’ (Sir Winston Churchill)
In our families, and in our church, are others more like Christ because of you?
- Grace-serving is costly, not cheap …‘Archippus our fellow soldier’ (v2)
Are you a soldier in Christ’s army, or a spectator? ‘Endure hardship like a good soldier of Jesus Christ’ (2 Tim.2:3)
Good soldiers have both the zeal (will to fight) and knowledge (the experience of actually fighting)
3. WE SERVE WITH DIVINE ENABLEMENT! (v3)
- We have a Father who cannot give less than the best ‘Grace and peace to you from God the Father’
Grace is not something that makes up for your deficiencies. It is God throwing all He is into finishing His work in you.
- We have a Saviour who has made us one ‘…and the Lord Jesus Christ’
The church may not be made up of impressive people – but we are an impressive family made one by an impressive Saviour.
Remember! Christianity is not all about ‘my righteousness’. It is the grace you are displaying before the Lord and others.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Why do you think it was important for Paul to write this letter? Why did he not just leave the past alone and save himself a letter?
- Is true Christian faith all about ‘my righteousness’? Why or why not?
- What will simplify our lives most and give us peace in serving Jesus?
- How in this week will God’s grace to you affect the way you think about your church family, serving the kingdom and other people?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Billy Alexander