Jesus is the hope for all people, the one in whom are all the hopes of the world.
Genuine living faith is costly, in selflessness, sacrifice, humility, obedience to God and godly love. Yet, James taught, it is this genuine faith that receives the crown of life from God.
Many, including myself, have complained the tone of Paul’s letter, even the wording, seems manipulative. How could Philemon make an honest decision, sprung from God at work in his heart, with Paul first complimenting him (ego strokes), then talking about Onesimus in such affectionate terms (pressure) and finally referring to himself as a mere elder asking permission (which seems to pluck the strings of guilt and shame)?
did Onesimus lead the way, full of hope, confident both in Paul and Timothy’s letter, and in the Spirit at work in Philemon? Was it Onesimus who handed Philemon this personal note, and told him, “This is from our brother Paul,”?
So, Paul wrote a short, personal note to Philemon as a cover letter to accompany the open epistle for the Colossian churches, and to discuss their mutual acquaintance, Onesimus.
Paul shook his head and muttered to himself. He could feel his temperature rise, even against the close heat of the small room he’d been given, to spend the night. But, there was no mistaking what he was reading, as the simple, clay oil lamp flickered its light across the papyrus. “God!” he thought. “God! Why!”
Paul worked from the teachings of Jesus. Everything Paul wrote must be sifted through the Gospels, or it won’t read right. Jesus was very clear—a point we have tragically ignored for most of Christendom’s existence—that we are not to rule over anyone within the kingdom.
In a message originally delivered for New Hope Chapel, in a series on Paul's epistle to the believers in Philippi. This twenty minute talk finishes up with Paul’s letter to his beloved sisters and brothers in the Lord.
The Chiastic Structure or Pattern shows a different emphasis in 1 Timothy, one in which proto-gnostic teaching was becoming a problem that must be addressed head on. Timothy was to make sure everyone was properly educated before they were entrusted with being deacons and elders, teachers and leaders within the church.
The part people often miss is that Paul wanted women in the classroom, learning scripture, theology, Greek and Hebrew, reading and writing, and presumably teaching and evangelizing, right alongside the men.