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Paul's Letter to Brother Philemon Volume 2
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Paul Prays for & Documents Brother Philemon's Love & Faith Part 1
Philemon 1:4-5 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; KJV Note:CEV=Contemporary English Version
The Apostle Paul next tells Brother Philemon how often he lifts his name up to our Father in Heaven when he is praying. All of us who have been redeemed and who are sojourning down here as twice born human beings, know the striving, stressing, and struggling each of us endure within on a daily basis in our inner man or inner woman with the new nature vs the old nature as to which will be in control, and also the furious fights we always encounter from without that come from the devil through his invisible devils and his visible two-legged devils as he continously attacks us physically and spiritually, so it must be a comfort for Brother Philemon to know that this great man of God (Paul the Apostle) makes mention of him in his prayers as Paul so writes with these words, "I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers," (Philemon 1:4) (KJV). Paul was one of the greatest prayer warriors in the army of God and for Philemon to read these words, surely brought comfort to his soul. Paul wrote very similiar words in the very beginning of his letter to the believers in the Church @ Colosse acknowledging their love for all the saints of God when he said, "We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything He wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives. Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please Him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy. I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what He has promised His people in the kingdom of light. God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son, who forgives our sins and sets us free." (Colossians 1:9-14) (CEV).
Here is what Alexander MacLaren had to say of this verse, "Paul was one of those regal natures to which things are possible that other men dare not do. No suspicion of weakness attaches to him when he pours out his heart in love, nor any of insincerity when he speaks of his continual prayers for his friends, or when he runs over in praise of his converts. Few men have been able to talk so much of their love without betraying its shallowness and self-consciousness, or of their prayers without exciting a doubt of their manly sincerity. But the Apostle could venture to do these things without being thought either feeble or false, and could unveil his deepest affections and his most secret devotions without provoking either a smile or a shrug. He has the habit of beginning all his letters with thankful commendations and assurances of a place in his prayers. The exceptions are 2 Corinthians, where he writes under strong and painful emotion, and Galatians, where a vehement accusation of fickleness takes the place of the usual greeting. But these exceptions make the habit more conspicuous. Though this is a habit, it is not a form, but the perfectly simple and natural expression of the moment’s feelings. He begins his letters so, not in order to please, and to say smooth things, but because he feels lovingly, and his heart fills with a pure joy which speaks most fitly in prayer. To recognize good is the way to make good better. Teachers must love if their teaching is to help. The best way to secure the doing of any single act of Christian generosity, such as Paul wished of Philemon, is to show absolute confidence that it will be done, because it is in accordance with what we know of the doer's character. 'It's a shame to tell Arnold a lie: he always trusts us,' the Rugby boys used to say. Nothing could so powerfully have swayed Philemon to grant Paul's request, as Paul's graceful mention of his beneficence, which mention is yet by no means conscious diplomacy, but instinctive kindliness."
Paul now declares to him in this letter that he has heard of how strong his faith and love for our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ was and how much he loved all of those who belonged to our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul perhaps was given this incite from the runaway slave Onesimus who was now with Paul, so Paul now writes these words, "Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;" (Philemon 1:5) (KJV). It was always Paul's practice to send those brothers who were with him whereever he was at the time back to places where Churches were formed and founded because of the grace of God after those heard the Gospel of Grace and were converted by God the Holy Spirit into Christ's mystical Body. Philemon was a resident of Colosse, but Paul had never visited the Church established their, but he did know brother Epaphras who was a minister in the Church of Colosse as documented for us by Paul's own letter written to that Church with these words, "We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all of God's people, because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news. The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in that same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you. He is also the one who told us about the love that God's Spirit has given you." (Colossians 1:4-8) (CEV). Here is what Albert Barnes had to say of this verse, "Either by Onesimus, who, after his conversion, would be disposed to state all that he knew that was favorable of Philemon, or hearing it by some other persons who had come from Colosse to Rome. The faith which is mentioned here refers to the Lord Jesus; the love, to the saints. The order in the Greek is indeed the same as in our version, but it is not unusual by synthesis, or uniting two or more things together, to arrange words in that manner. The meaning is, that he had strong faith in the Lord Jesus, and ardent/fervent/warm love toward all who were Christians."
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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