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Martin J. Godeberht 12-04-2016 10:15 PM

Day 347: Philemon
Paul and Timothy write to Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus, and everyone at church there (Philemon 1:1-4). I think Timothy helped edit this letter because it's uncharacteristically succinct. But I digress.

5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

Paul is grateful to God every time he hears Philemon’s name, and prays others see the work of Christ in their good deeds (Philemon 1:6-7). Some people might consider this kissing Philemon’s ass in anticipation for the request coming up, but Paul doesn’t need to kiss anyone’s ass. He’s got Jesus on his side. Christians are just nice people in general, even though we don’t have to be.

10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Paul “birthed” a new baby Christian, Onesimus, while in prison. But as Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave, Paul is sending him back, one Christian to another (Philemon 1:11-15).

16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

Lots of speculation about what this means. Did Paul send Onesimus back with the idea that Philemon should free him, or is Paul speaking of a change of attitude rather than a change of social relationship so that Onesimus will resume his position as a household slave as before his conversion, albeit now saved? The bible doesn’t say and so we shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it. We have what we need to avoid eternal damnation (2 Timothy 3:16; Titus 3:9).

In any case, Paul is sending Onesimus back as a Christian and hopes Philemon will treat him accordingly (which we know doesn’t have anything to do with freeing slaves). If Philemon incurred any expenses because of Onesimus’ running away, Paul will pay just like Christ paid his debts for sin (Philemon 1:17-20).

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Paul’s pretty sure Philemon will do the right thing. With regard to freeing Onesimus, the bible doesn’t say what the right thing is. That’s not the important message here. Remember, Paul tells us Jesus is coming any day (1 Thessalonians 4:15), so what if you’re a slave for another week or not? In the long run, no one cares. So be a good Christian now.

Lastly, Paul tells Philemon everyone in prison says hi (Philemon 1:22-25).

MitzaLizalor 12-07-2016 03:55 AM

Re: Day 347: Philemon
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I noticed an interesting word in verse 1, linked in your post, “fellowlabourer” (συνεργῳ) from which we get our word synergy. How wonderful it is to work together spreading the Good News about Jesus just as Paul worked together with Philemon. And Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas & Lucas in verse 24.

JOHN 15 . KJV . context
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Aristarchus..mentioned in verse not the dreadful Aristarchus from Samos, notorious Greek island off the coast of Turkey producing a bunch of heathen mathematicians who wrote dogma opposed to what God has taught us in The Bible. Greek ideas were developed among small circles of enthusiasts but their ideas had wider influence.

approximate dates BC . . . . SOURCE
. . . . . . . . . . . 649-609 Josiah (r.641-609) .book of the Law discovered by Hilkiah the priest
. . . . . . . . . . . 588-586 Siege of Jerusalem. . .- - - Jeremiah (temple destroyed c587)
Pythagoras. 570-495. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - - - Ezekiel
. . . . . . . . . . . 537 Exiles return. . . . . . . - - - Ezra (temple rebuilding begins c538)
Philolaus. .470-385. .457 Families return from exile - - - Nehemiah
. . . . . . . . . . . 444 Ezra reads the Law
Aristarchus 310-230

God's Law was available to His chosen people, whether they took any notice of it or not, but Greeks were not included and the chart shows how ideas developed in either case. While Jeremiah and Ezekiel were announcing how displeased God was and what He was going to do about it, over in Samos Pythagoras was busy inventing triangles. His ideas spread so that by the time families were returning to Jerusalem, Philolaus was spinning the earth into motion directly contradicting Scripture.

During that century, in Jerusalem, the Temple rebuilding was completed. While Philolaus was orbiting planets and making observations Ezra read the book of the Law explaining how reality really worked and how rotten it was before Hilkiah rediscovered the lost book during Josiah's reign. Elsewhere the standards of the day led farther away from God and before the century was out Aristarchus turned up with triangles on the brain and plenty more to come. He imposed bizarre interpretations on his observations coming to utterly erroneous conclusions which would produce a scientific tradition offering explanations without gods and even declaring that God did not exist at all in several cases throughout the Hellenistic period.

ACTS 19 . KJV . context
Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus..
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Ephesus is really quite close to Samos. By the time Paul was there ever more brazen heathens had surfaced in Greek culture such as Democritus and Epicurus.


Denying any divine sanction for morality, and holding that the experience of pleasure and pain are the source of all value, Epicurus thought we can learn from atomist philosophy that pursuing natural and necessary pleasures—rather than the misleading desires inculcated by society—will make pleasure readily attainable. At the same time, we will avoid the pains brought on by pursuing unnatural and unnecessary pleasures. Understanding, on the basis of the atomist theory, that our fears of the gods and of death are groundless will free us from our chief mental pains.
Fortunately, Paul was able to counter such arguments so their blasphemous science went the same way as their books. It must have been present in Ephesus along with other versions of sorcery. So be prepared when some keen eyed, secular educated pupil recognises Aristarchus in verse 24. This is NOT the Aristarchus celebrated in science-without-God circles. Those dangerous ideas were extinguished not only in Ephesus but throughout Christian Europe.

Be vigilant; they are on the rise again.


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