Confess Christ

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Philemon 19 Owning Up to Christ Paul’s letter to Philemon is one of the most beautifully written books of the bible. The delicacy with which Paul approaches his good friend and brother, Philemon, immediately takes on admirable qualities. Paul needed a favor of Philemon. He was sending Onesimus to him, a new convert to Christianity. He wanted Philemon to nurture this young man’s tender new faith. But there was a catch. Onesimus had once been Philemon’s slave, who had run away, and was now returning back home. As we read the entire book, we thought – “This biblical account has the makings of a great movie.” Picture the courageous Onesimus returning to Philemon, holding his only defense for his actions, a letter from a friend. Picture the compassion and forgiveness Philemon was asked to demonstrate to receive his runaway slave back without punishment. And picture the new relationship that would blossom between former slave and former master. This entire book of the bible reads like a parable. You know what a parable is, don’t you? It’s a story with a hidden lesson, a heavenly story with an earthly meaning. And wrapped up in this story of Philemon and Onesimus are all the motives and principles of practical Christianity reduced down to one life lesson – the imitation of Christ. In this beautiful account, we see the Apostle Paul acting as a ‘type’ of Christ, an intercessor, pleading for the forgiveness of one he has saved from sin, and one for whom he is willing to pay the entire cost of that sin. So today, rather than decipher this narrative from the viewpoint of Onesimus, or Philemon, or Paul, we want to take the message to a higher and greater plane of understanding that speaks to every Christian soul – and view it ... ... middle of paper ... ...rops by and stays for as long as we allow His presence in us. It is only our self-engrossment that can keep Him out. When we take our eyes off Him, and focus instead on ourselves, we give Him exit instructions. But when our hearts bow to Him, they open. When we give ourselves to HIM, Christ gives, and gives, and gives Himself to us. If you want to be assured of your faith, live it. If you want to be more certain of His promises, yield to Him. If you want more of Christ, give more of yourself to Him. It is impossible to overpay Him, no matter how much of yourself is poured out. And when you are one day awakened in glory, you will daily be reminded of how much Christ has overpaid for your poor, stained and feeble service. That’s when you will experience the full joy of your soul’s harvest; the wonder and rapture of what Christ has done for you.

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