Join us as we enter into a study of Philemon.

Join us as we enter into a study of Philemon.

The series kick off to our study in Philemon.

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It happens all the time in our home. I will come into the room and find one of the kids watching a movie or show.  I will take my seat and within a few moments I'm asking questions and trying to figure out what is going on in the show or movie that is on.  Once again I have arrived late. Thanks to the "pause" button on the DVR Mary and/or the kids are able to stop the show and indulge my delay.  They tell the story from their perspective and as best as I can I try to engage and learn the plot of the show from that point forward.

Well in verses 8-16 of Philemon that's exactly where we the middle of the story.  As was shared yesterday in verses 1-7 we observed Paul's appreciation for Philemon and his partnership in the faith (v. 6). Now as we read in the middle of the letter we see the appeal for "my son" Onesimus.  Paul makes the appeal not just on the bases that he is an apostle of the faith, but rater the appeal is made on bases of love (v 8-9). The appeal and request is bore out of the same love that Paul himself taught about, the love of Christ. Paul doesn't want Philemon to love just because Paul has told him too but because the gospel makes it the right thing to do. He wants Philemon to want to love. So now at last, after Paul has laid the groundwork, we get to the nitty-gritty. It perhaps feels a little like emotional arm-twisting here, but identity found in love is crucial to Paul's entire appeal.

So while we are in the middle of the letter, the appeal should be familiar to us.  While we may not fully know all of the story, we are aware of the circumstances. Paul is appealing to the leader of the church to care, love and disciple. Within these few verses there are 5 different appeals that Paul request of Philemon. Can you spot them not only in this letter, but can you spot them in your own life?

Pastor Jeff

Union Avenue