The Epistle to Philemon begins with just a plain address, so some consider it to be a personal, private letter. Then the question might be asked, Why was it included in the Sacred Canon? Not only did the Lord in His providence so overrule matters, but the epistle contains a lot of meaty thought.
Posts Tagged ‘ prisoner of Jesus Christ ’
The “revelation” occurred when the risen Lord appeared to Paul on the way to Damascus, effecting his conversion. Paul said that God had instructed him to take the gospel to the Gentiles. He was trying to make the Ephesian Gentiles feel that they had just as great a legacy on the truth as the Jewish Christians from the Holy Land itself.
There was disunity in this class and even clamoring and tumult, so Paul’s reasoning with regard to the Gentiles being “fellowheirs” was needed. A lot was behind Paul’s choice of the word “fellowheirs” because of the disunity and undercurrent in the class.
Paul told the brethren not to faint because of his afflictions. He was not troubled by his persecutions, and neither should they be troubled. His attitude was, “It is my privilege and glory to suffer. I am happy to suffer in order to transmit this information to others.
Paul desired that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith, and that they would be rooted and grounded in love and not have continual contention, disruption, and disunity. He was saying, “There is a motive in the calling; namely, God wants you to be established in the truth.”