Today’s passage: Philemon 1-3
- Philemon was a member of the church in Colossae (The Colossians). The church met together in his house.
- Designated church buildings are unheard of until the third century.
- Paul wrote this letter to Philemon, his family (Aphia and Archippus) and the rest of the church from his imprisonment in Rome.
- In this letter, Paul did not immediately appeal to his authority as an apostle, but to the hardship which he was happy to endure for the cause of Christ. What he was about to ask Philemon to do didn’t really compare.
- In addressing this letter to the whole church, Philemon would have accountability to complete the task Paul is about to ask.
- “Grace to you” appears in all of Paul’s letters.
- God saves us by grace and our salvation brings us peace.
Questions to consider:
- Why is church membership important? What has to be happening in the membership of the church to prove its very real purpose? What kind of church life would convince people that membership was unnecessary or something you would desire to avoid?
- What would the lack of a building do to the church today? Would it be the end of the church? In what ways would it hurt? In what ways might it be a blessing? How could thinking through this help us get the best of both options?
- Why does it matter that Paul equates God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ? What is the doctrinal significance? Why does it matter that Jesus Christ is Lord? Can you be a Christian if Jesus is not your Lord?