Faithlife Sermons

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Intro; Andy and Dave were best friends from childhood.
Andy came from a very influential family in town and were faithful members at the Baptist church.
Dave was from the wrong side of town and his family did not attend church.
But this societal difference did not affect their friendship in life.
They played ball together, were best buds in school and even went into business together after graduating.
Andy’s family helped finance their business adventure and Dave had a knack for selling rubber boots to a duck.
The tech business they built together was really doing well and the future of the company was bright, until Dave decided to take the money from the company and skip town.
Andy was devastated that his life long friend would do such a thing.
Andy eventually rebounded and continued on with the company.
A year later Andy recieved a text from a familiar number, it was Dave, he asked Andy to forgive him and asked if he could come and explain why he took the money.
He wanted Andy to know he was sorry and that his life had changed this past year when he met Jesus.
The question I want you to think on this morning is, “What would you do if you were Andy?”
Before you answer that question, I want to remind you of two things;
First of all we live in a selfish society that cares very little about forgiveness.
Our culture celebrates and exalts those TV and movie heroes who take vengeance on others.
The result is a society filled with bitterness, vengeance, anger, hate, and hostility.
Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth mentality!
Second, for a Christian [Andy], an unwillingness to forgive is unthinkable.
It is a rebellious, open act of disobedience to God.
We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us.
This morning I want us to look at “Living Forgiveness and Reconciliation” in real life.
Text; Philemon 1:1-25
This is one of Paul’s four prison letters [Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians], but this one is written to an individual, Philemon.
It’s easy to talk a good game of forgiveness but its totally different to “live” forgiveness and reconciliation.
But that’s exactly what Paul is asking Philemon to do concerning a runaway slave, Onesimus, that probably stole money from Philemon.
Paul is asking Philemon to go far and beyond what Dave asked Andy to do.
Remember, Andy and Dave were childhood friends and business partners, but Philemon and Onesimus were in a master/slave relationship.
Slavery was common in the ancient world; society was built upon it.
The Israelites even had slaves [Gibeonites].
Slaves could be sold, exchanged, given away, or seized to pay their master’s debt.
Masters had unlimited power to punish their salves.
Onesimus was in a bad predicament, Philemon had the right to put him to death, but Paul appealed to Philemon to look at Onesimus not just as his slave, but now also as a brother in Christ.
Let’s meet this man Philemon this morning.
Who is Philemon?;
Slave owner- He owned at least one slave named Onesimus
Beloved friend- a dear friend, a close friend who is highly esteemed by the Apostle Paul [inner circle] [v.2, 4]
Fellow laborer- a companion in ministry.
He either worked with Paul in Ephesus or supported Paul’s ministry in Christ.
We do know that the church in Colossae met in his home [v.2b, 17]
Family man- beloved Apphia [wife] and Archippus [son].
Philemon had no doubt brought his family to the LORD at his conversion.
Teaching them the way and then his son following in the path of ministry [fellow soldier], maybe even ministering with Paul at some point.
Redeemed man- We know this not just by the church meeting in his home but he was probably a convert of Paul during his second missionary journey to Ephesus where Paul preached for two years.
Caring person- Philemon not only cared about his relationship in Christ but that also with his fellow man [v.5, 7]
Wealthy man- He had the means to hold a church congregation in his house and share his food and drink with them.
His house was also able to house travelers, even Paul hoped to be back there again.
2b, 22a]
Praying man- Paul knew this man prayed for him regularly, even to the point that Philemon prayed for Paul’s release from prison [22b]
The character of a man determines his actions/responses in life’s circumstances.
2. Who are You?;
Have you ever been wronged by someone?
Sure you have.
Being taken advantage of by others is an unfortunate fact of life.
It’s how we respond to being wronged is what matters.
If we react as the world does, then we jeopardize our testimony.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression
If we react as the Bible teaches, we glorify God and point men to the Savior
Do you have the ability to forgive?
To forgive means to reconcile with one another.
Reconcile means to restore friendly relations.
To give your heart.
3. Failing to Forgive;
Failing to Forgive keeps us in chains.
Those chains remind us of the pain we suffered, which feeds our anger and resentment, and continually robs you of the joy of living.
Failing to forgive produces the root of bitterness in our soul.
Bitterness is like an infection that continues to spread.
Failing to forgive hinders fellowship with God.
[This is speaking of fellowship not salvation]
To Forgive Is To Turn The Key, Open the cell door, and let the prisoner walk free
To Forgive Is To Write In Large Letters across a debt, “Nothing owed”
To Forgive Is To Pound The Gavel In a courtroom and declare, “Not guilty!”
To Forgive Is To Relax A Strangle hold On a wrestling opponent.
To Forgive Is To Sandblast A Wall Of graffiti, leaving it looking like new.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992).
Philemon (p.
Moody Press.
To be forgiven is such sweetness that honey is tasteless in comparison with it.
But yet there is one thing sweeter still, and that is to forgive.
As it is more blessed to give than to receive, so to forgive rises a stage higher in experience than to be forgiven.
To be forgiven is the root; to forgive is the flower.—
Charles Spurgeon
Are your roots producing flowers?
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