KIJAN KRETYEN KI GEN MOYEN YO DWE PWOTEGE LEGLIZ MENM JAN AK FILEMON

CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

SUNDAY OCTOBER 11TH 2020

Sermon by Pastor Marc E Simeon

PHILEMON: A DISTINCTIVE AND NOBLE CHRISTIAN

PHILEMON: UN CHRETIEN NOBLE ET DISTINCT

PHILEMON 1 : 4-7

1:4 Je rends continuellement grâces à mon Dieu, faisant mention de toi dans mes prières,

 5 parce que je suis informé de la foi que tu as au Seigneur Jésus et de ta charité pour tous les saints.

 6 Je lui demande que ta participation à la foi soit efficace pour la cause de Christ, en faisant reconnaître en nous toute espèce de bien.

 7 J’ai, en effet, éprouvé beaucoup de joie et de consolation au sujet de ta charité; car par toi, frère, le cœur des saints a été tranquillisé.

PHILEMON

1:4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,

 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints,

 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

INTRODUCTION

WHO WAS PHILEMON?

  • Today by the grace of God we will be talking about a bible character named Philemon.
  • The books of the Bible usually carry the name of their authors but Philemon was just a recipient of a letter written by the Apostle Paul that became part of the cannon.
  • The book of Philemon only has one chapter.
  • Not much is known about this Philemon except that He was from Colossae.
  • He was arguably a wealthy man.
  • He had seemingly a great reputation and a great influence among his people.
  • He was a devoted and active Christian in his congregation.
  • He was the owner of one or more slaves.
  • The Apostle Paul knew him personally.
  • He became Christian directly or indirectly through the ministry of Paul during the three years that Paul spent in Ephesus.
  • Philemon used his influence to protect the saints and caused a great peace of mind among them.
  • He is assumed to be a humble person; one that could be persuaded to do the right thing.
  • He was taken advantage of by one of his slaves who might have stolen from him and ran away.

WHO WAS ONESIMUS?

  • Onesimus was a runaway slave who became converted to Christ through the ministry of Paul.
  • Paul met Onesimus in Rome during his first imprisonment.
  • Onesimus became the right hand or voluntary assistant of Paul during his house arrest at Rome.
  • Onesimus confessed to Paul that he was the runaway slave of a man called Philemon in Colossae, one whom Paul was also acquainted to.
  • Paul found himself in a delicate situation and decided to address the problem head on.
  • On the one hand, he would have loved to keep Onesimus at his service, on the other hand, it would disloyal and unkind to keep the slave of another person, worse in this case, the runaway slave of a fellow Christian.
  • Slavery was not condemned in those days, but how they got treated was under scrutiny by God.
  • Paul went on to pave the way for a safe return for Onesimus who could be facing a death sentence for his misdeeds.
  • Paul built the case to show that Onesimus was a transformed person after his conversion to Christ.
  • The name Onesimus means useful, Paul used that to assure Philemon that his former slave had finally matched his great name.
  • Paul gave Philemon three options concerning Onesimus.
    • Please receive him back as a changed man and forgive him for the sake of God.
    • Please receive him back and I will pay for the damages that he caused.
    • Please allow me to keep him if you have no use for him.
  • Paul did the best he could to resolve a messy situation for the benefit of all involved.

THE ROLE OF THE NOBLES IN THE CHURCH

Philemon 1 :7

7 J’ai, en effet, éprouvé beaucoup de joie et de consolation au sujet de ta charité ; car par toi, frère, le cœur des saints a été tranquillisé.

7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

  • Although the message of the Cross does not usually attract the nobles in society, but the contribution of the few that have become Christians have greatly impacted the Church throughout the ages.
  • It was a rich man who took the body of Jesus and buried Him on his tomb as prophesied.
  • Some ladies of considerable wealth took care of the living expenses of Jesus during his ministry.
  • In the book of Acts, the wealthy Christians sold their possessions to take care of the needy Christians among them.
  • The Bible says that none was considered poor because they carried one another’s burdens.
  • The ministry of the Apostle Paul was sustained by the assistance of many wealthy men and women.
  • Lydia a wealthy merchant welcomed Paul and his team in Macedonia.
  • Christians are to consider themselves as stewards and not owners of material possessions.
  • It took an educated man like Paul to make such an impact in the Great Commission.
  • It took a highly educated physician and historian like Dr Luke to pen the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
  • It took a rich man like Gaius to sponsor the missionary works of some disciples.

THE SCARCITY OF THE NOBLES IN THE CHURCH

1 KORINT 1: 26-29

26 Koulye a, frè m’ yo, chonje ki kalite moun nou te ye lè Bondye te rele nou. Pa gen anpil nan nou ki gen bon konprann dapre sa lèzòm rele bon konprann, pa gen anpil grannèg, ni anpil moun gran fanmi.

27 Se konsa, Bondye chwazi moun lèzòm konsidere tankou moun sòt pou l’ fè moun ki gen bon konprann yo wont. Li chwazi moun lèzòm konsidere tankou moun ki fèb pou l’ fè grannèg yo wont.

28 Li chwazi moun lèzòm gade pou anyen, moun yo meprize, moun ki pa menm egziste pou yo, pou li te ka kraze sa ki gen enpòtans pou moun k’ap viv dapre lide ki nan lemonn.

29 Konsa, pa gen moun ki ka fè grandizè devan Bondye.

1Co 1:26 Considérez, frères, que parmi vous qui avez été appelés il n’y a ni beaucoup de sages selon la chair, ni beaucoup de puissants, ni beaucoup de nobles.

 27 Mais Dieu a choisi les choses folles du monde pour confondre les sages; Dieu a choisi les choses faibles du monde pour confondre les fortes;

 28 et Dieu a choisi les choses viles du monde et celles qu’on méprise, celles qui ne sont point, pour réduire à néant celles qui sont,

 29 afin que nulle chair ne se glorifie devant Dieu.

  • Because of the issue of pride, only a handful of nobles were found in the early churches.
  • With greater access to higher education and free enterprises, the church is now filled with people who can be classified as nobles by considerations of education, material possessions and influences.
  • Surprisingly, even in the presence of so many wealthy and noble Christians, in general, the churches still operates under a lot of stress financially.
  • Social ranks have entered the church; the haves and don’t haves maintain their proper distances.
  • The educated and the uneducated don’t relate although they may worship in the same building.
  • Humility and generosity have turned to virtues of the long forgotten past.
  • Philemon is a prime example of how dignitary Christians should behave toward the benefice of the church.

Phil 1:4 Je rends continuellement grâces à mon Dieu, faisant mention de toi dans mes prières,

 5 parce que je suis informé de la foi que tu as au Seigneur Jésus et de ta charité pour tous les saints.

  • Philemon was a sold out, radical, and completely devoted Christian.
  • Philemon was not like closet Christians who are timid about their faith in Christ, in aims of maintaining their status quo with the world.
  • All could see his love for Christ, and all could observe his love for the Brethrens.

 6 Je lui demande que ta participation à la foi soit efficace pour la cause de Christ, en faisant reconnaître en nous toute espèce de bien.

  • Paul’s prayer for Philemon was that his contribution to the faith would avail much.
  • Paul wanted Philemon to shine even more for Christ in all the aspects of his life.
  • Paul prayed that Philemon would become even more fruitful and beneficial to the Body of Christ.
  • Nowadays, Christians become jealous of other Christians who are in the spotlight.
  • Nowadays, propelled by envy and jealousy, you find a lot of Christians casting doubts and all sorts of slanders on those who are in the forefront advancing the Gospel.
  • Paul commanded Philemon for his good works
  • Paul never allowed himself to see a shining Christian as a competitor but a worthy co-laborer.

LE CŒUR DES SAINTS A ÉTÉ TRANQUILLISÉ

7 J’ai, en effet, éprouvé beaucoup de joie et de consolation au sujet de ta charité; car par toi, frère, le cœur des saints a été tranquillisé.

  • When you care for Christ, you will also care for His church.
  • When you care for the church, you will also care for those who enable the church to function, the leaders.
  • It’s worth mentioning that Philemon is not pictured here as the principal elder of the house church in question, but as a worthy member or an elder.
  • When a church is fully functional and all the saints put themselves at the service of one another, great tranquility is resulted in that church.
  • I was a member of a church that once had a great brotherly love. All the members benefited from that.
  • When a mother delivered a baby, people from the church would volunteer to cook and clean for her.
  • We had a member who was a manager at Popeye’s Chicken, Late at night after he closed the restaurant, he would distribute leftover fried chicken to the members of the church before going home.
  • We had people who went fishing and deliver fresh fish by the doors of the members.
  • We had a pastor who comes to visit with a bible in one hand and a box of pizza in the other hand.
  • We had Christians who spent all day fixing other Christians’ cars for no fee..
  • We had members of the church who were busy helping other Christians find jobs.
  • Those who did not speak English had everybody at their disposal to help with translation.
  • We had people who used to load three layers of people in their cars to take them to church.
  • We had people who assisted people to take them to junkyards and auctions.
  • There was no such thing as wedding invitation for the members of the church, all members were automatically invited.
  • Bottom line, there was great tranquility and great comfort among the saints.
  • I lost all of that when I moved away to another State, the new church did not operate like that and could not cope with it for a long time.
  • I was under the impression that the legacy of my former church was normative among Christians. I was wrong!

CONCLUSION

  • As we consider this outstanding Christian character as Philemon, we find a model for the saints in our generation to pattern their lives after.
  • By the grace of God, Christians can longer be classified as the uneducated, and the bottom line of society.
  • Christians are now found in all walks of life.
  • Some of the best professionals are Christians be it in the medical field, in engineering, inventors, scientists, lawyers, teachers, bankers etc, you name the field, Christians are there.
  • Be someone who seeks to restore broken relationship like Paul.
  • Be truly transformed like Onesimus to the point where all would recommend you to others in a positive way.
  • Be someone like Philemon who was a bundle of joy to the church and a protector of the saints.
  • Be ready like Philemon to bury the ashes and forgive those who wronged you in the past.
  • Be ready like Philemon to welcome back in your life those who seek forgiveness and fellowship with you.
  • Be a Philemon where ever you go.
  • May the Lord add His Blessings to His Word!

AMEN!

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