Philemon 6

sermons on evangelism church of the nazarene

 

Philemon 6

by Lyle Pointer

“I pray that you will be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

  1. “I am not comfortable sharing my faith.”
  2. “Evangelism is not my gift.”
  3. “I do not want to endanger my friendship.”
  4. “Others can do a better job than I can.”
  5. “Don't ask me to witness. I just live the life.”
  6. We need compelling reasons to tell others about Jesus:

I. Sharing our faith reduces conflict.

A. Onesimus ran away from Philemon, his slave owner.

1. Their relationship broke apart.

2. He may have stolen from his master.

B. Conflict is present within Christians.

1. Philemon was a man who loved God and others, but failed to love his servant.

2. When we think less of people we tolerate unkind behavior toward them.

C. To resolve conflict the desire to be right must be replaced by the desire to love.

1. Paul appeals to Philemon to accept back the runaway slave, because he has accepted the Lord.

a. Paul calls Onesimus his son (10), meaning he has brought him to the Lord.

b. Paul refers to the slave as “my very heart” (12).

c. Paul asks for Philemon to accept Onesimus as he would him, Paul (17).

2. Paul seeks to elevate Onesimus' value to Philemon and thus improve Philemon's actions toward the runaway slave.

D. Paul's evangelistic success reduced the conflict between two people.

II. Witnessing provides us with a fuller understanding.

A. How is that possible?

B. Witnessing…

1. Expresses faith in God.

a. We trust God for courage and the outcome of our witnessing.

b. We depend upon God for sensitivity and assertiveness.

2. Demonstrates love for others.

a. Our love is to be holistic including the person and spirit.

b. Not to witness to an unbeliever is a reflection of a partial love or a self love that protects our own well-being.

3. Requires an exploration of the good things.

a. Witnessing recognizes and reports God's blessings.

b. Witnessing speaks of God's forgiveness, His comforting presence, His generous provisions.

4. Is an expression of our profession of faith.

a. We must share the faith we possess. # In I John 1:1-4 the disciples told what they had seen, heard, and experienced about Jesus.

b. Our witness is most effective among the people we know, such as family and friends.

III. Conclusion:

A. We must pray for each other to share our faith.

1. Paul admired Philemon's faith.

2. He commended Philemon's love for the saints.

3. He felt close enough to be light-hearted, punning off Onesimus' {useful} (11) and Philemon's {refreshing} name (7, 20).

B. Paul knew what was lacking in Philemon's life—a consistent and compassionate witness.

C. Paul prayed that God would help Philemon become what he was not—an effective witness. # Paul twice asked the church to pray for him to be an effective witness (Ephesians 6:19 -20, Colossians 4: 2-4).

 

Church of the Nazarene

USA/Canada Region

17001 Prairie Star Parkway

Lenexa, KS 66220

Phone: 913.577.2830

Toll-free: 800.306.9948

usacanadaregion@nazarene.org
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