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Philemon: A Practical Letter For Christian Living

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Philemon 1:1-25

There are twenty-seven books of the New Testament divided mainly into; The Gospels (Synoptics and John), Acts, Paul’s Epistles, General Epistles and Apocalypse/Revelation. Majority of the NT are epistles (Paul’s and others’) forming twenty-one of the twenty-seven. Paul wrote thirteen 13 letters--some to churches, pastors and individuals. Further, four of Paul’s letters are called prison epistles because they were written in Prison; namely: Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon. Philemon is an epistle and to study it we have to approach it as a letter. In doing so, we will seek to answer five questions: Who wrote Philemon, when and where was Philemon written, Who was/were the recipients, Why was it written and what can we learn from it? Answering the first four questions will lead us into a proper application---what we can learn from Philemon.

Who Wrote Philemon?

Letters in the New Testament world were written just as we…

Faith And Conduct

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Among six key themes (from ESV Global Study Bible) of the book of Amos, two stands out for me.
1. Justice and righteousness in the treatment of other people are the key evidences of a right relationship to the Lord.
2. Religious observances in the absence of social justice are disgusting to God.¹ I find these two key themes present in the verses that follow. God says;
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen (Amos 5:21-23). Today, many profess faith but their profession contradicts their conduct. Should that be the case? Where profession of faith and conduct contradicts, there is a justification to question what one professes. Could it be possible that God has rejected many gatherings supposed…

The Cost Of Following Christ

Depart From Me...I Am A Sinful Man

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Have you ever thought about it? What is the greatest need of humankind? This question will generate a lot of response. Probably, for the majority, top of the list will be eradication of poverty and disease. Others will put forth world peace, eradication of drug and sex trafficking. To others, equal rights for all humankind will top the list. These indeed are commendable, but they are not the greatest need of humankind. The Bible gives us the answer: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is the divine verdict from God. All humankind have sinned. Not only that, but by our sins, we are  enstranged, alienated and separated from God. We are enemies of God and liable to receive the just punishment for our sins. Paul describes our hopelessness in Ephesians 2:1-3 saying , “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in …

Christ Our Sin Bearer

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Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It is also the book of beginnings because it tells us the origins of life and accurately explains the main problem of the world--Sin. From the first two chapters of Genesis, we are made to know there is a Creator who created the world and all that dwells in it (Genesis 1:1, 31, 2:26-27). After creation, God saw that everything He had created was good (Genesis 1:31). But today, in contrast to Genesis 1:31, the world in its current state is not good. It is a world filled with pain, tragedy, wickedness, cruelty and every horror imaginable. How do we reconcile the current state of the world with God's proclamation that "everything that he had made...was very good". The answer is that sin entered the world. So; What Is Sin? Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God [a]. Lev 5:17;   Jas 4:17;   1 John 3:4 ~Westminster Shorter Catechism Q14 In these words we see what sin is. Sin is breaking God's law by …

Life Under The Providence Of God.

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It was 21st March, 2016 at about 9:30pm and I was trying to catch up with a bible reading plan --Luke 1:1-38
--I had missed in the morning. While reading, verses 8-9 caught my attention "Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense" (Luke 1:8-9).

The priest in question here is Zachariah, the Father of John the Baptist and husband of Elizabeth. Prior to vv8-9, Luke briefly profiled their lives: "In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years".

Here is a couple described as rigthteous and walking blameless…

The Syrophoenician Woman and Jesus

But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. (Mark 7:25-27)
The text records a woman who approached Jesus to ask for a miracle on behalf of her daughter. Now, if Jesus indeed “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”(Acts 10:38), isn’t it startling, the response He gave to the woman? “She begged him”…yet, we see Jesus responding in a seemingly derogatory manner. But was He being offensive?
There are two perspectives to approach this incident.
Firstly, in Mark 7:24, Jesus had entered a hideout, away from the crowd, probably to rest with His disciples from the rigours of public ministry. We get a hint about this when we look back one Chapter: “And he sa…