“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 1:6
This one-chapter epistle of Paul to his friend Philemon is essentially a personal request by Paul that Philemon forgive his runaway slave, Onesimus, and receive him back into “the church in thy house” as a new Christian, recently won to Christ (vs. 2, 10, 15-16). Our text is Paul’s prayer for Philemon and is similar to prayers by him for other believers (e.g., Colossians 1:9-10). It is an appropriate prayer on behalf of any fellow Christian. Its emphasis is on the blessings and responsibilities of true fellowship.
The “communication” of which Paul speaks is the Greek word “koinonia”, meaning “fellowship.” That is, genuine Christian faith involves a sharing of one’s life with others of “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1). That fellowship becomes “effectual” (literally, “full of power,” from the Greek “energes”, “energizing”) only through recognizing and appreciating all the blessings we have received through Christ.
Paul pointed out that he himself should be counted as a “partner” with Philemon (v. 17). Here the Greek is “koinonos”, practically the same as “koinonia”. Both Philemon, the wealthy Colossian master, and Onesimus, his runaway bondservant, were Paul’s spiritual children (v. 19), so they all theoretically shared “every good thing” in fellowship through Christ. Thus, Paul offered to repay anything Onesimus had stolen or any other losses, should Philemon so insist (vv. 18-19).
The demands of Christian fellowship thus might cost Onesimus his freedom, Paul his helper, and Philemon his property. True fellowship is not mere Christian socializing. It is the sharing of love and concern, time and talents, possessions and even life itself, as need and circumstance demand, with others in the household of faith. –Dr. Henry M. Morris
Anyone desiring to be baptized in obedience to the Lord, please contact Pastor Saunders. Our service is planned for January 29, 2020, during our week of prayer.
LIBERIA MISSION TRIP
Our Mission Board is planning a mission trip to Liberia from August 4th–18th, 2020. We will be working with Rev. David DiCanio and Miss Joanne Greer, helping with Vacation Bible School, children’s programs, and generally assisting with other ministry tasks. This trip is intended for individuals18 years old and over, those who are under 18 will be considered only on a case-by-case basis based upon the recommendation of their Session. Applications and Session recommendation letters must be submitted by Friday, January 31, 2020.
FPCNA PRAYER REQUESTS
Miss Margaret Russell
Thankful for the completion of editing of two more years’ worth of the visual aids that accompany the seven-year series of Bible lessons used in the Sunday schools in Kenya.
Please pray that this will be completed and also be used of the Lord in the children’s ministry.
Margaret is still looking to the Lord to raise up others to coordinate the Sunday school work after her retirement.
Pray for the students sitting for national exams this term.
Pray for her brother-in-law, Rev. Ian Harris, as he undergoes radiation treatments.
Please Pray for
Special Prayer Requests
Dr. Mark Allison, Ron Blair, Rev. John & Dorothy Bodner, Francesca Fernandes, Stephen Kelly, Rev. Kevin McLeod, Ken Postill, Mary Todd, Grace Saunders, Mandy Sigalas, Kim Wagner and Elise Vautour.
Pray for Our Seniors
Jean Bynoe, Florence Chung, Sam McAnally, Grace Saunders, Maria Santos, Margaret Schenk, Jim Wilson and John & Thelma Watson.