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From Ruthless to Generous and Enslaved to Empowered, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 22, 2020 9:00 am

From Ruthless to Generous and Enslaved to Empowered, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 22, 2020 9:00 am

In our series called Everyday Theology, we’ve been focusing on the book of Titus. But Pastor J.D. concludes this study by turning to another book: the New Testament epistle of Philemon. This short letter contains a little-read story of a runaway slave and the power of the gospel. 

Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur

JD Greer God created you. You seem to be useful, but send me to use less. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ can liberate you to become what God has created you to be all set up by Lena Nesmith is not just useful as a servant in your household. God has a plan for him and his kingdom. Greer is concluding our series, every theology so if you like to catch up on any of the previous messages you can listen free of charge. JD This study has mostly focused on the book of Titus wrapped up today by looking at another buck finally this short letter contains a little-known story of a runaway slave in the power of the gospel to unify believers to grab your Bible in your pen and let's join Pastor JD for the message. He titled it from ruthless to generous and enslaved to empowered by Lehman is one of the shortest books in the Bible one page 335 words a really interesting story behind this book. Philemon was a Roman nobleman who lived in Colossae.

Paul had led to Christ on a mission trip there will Philemon was was was really wealthy and he had a bunch of servants and one of them made an SMS had stolen a bunch of stuff from Philemon's house and then ran away to Rome. What a crazy twister Providence anastomosis runs into the apostle Paul in Rome. Rome was a huge city but it just happens run into Paul, who is being held in a minimum-security prison there in Rome. So Paul leads Ernesto Mr. Christ. Then he finds out that an SMS is a runaway slave installed a bunch of stuff from Paul from Philemon. So Paul since him back to Philemon to turn himself in, and as he is going.

He says Asia one attorney selling Philemon. I want you to take this letter to the church in Colossae which is the book of Colossians in your Bible, and many attached is this little postscript to that letter as a private letter to Philemon. That's the book of Philemon and so this is what Paul says in a private letter to Philemon. Verse six is ruled by God. Paul says I'm praying that you Philemon will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Accordingly, Bill. I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required. Yet, for love's sake. I prefer to appeal to you, so I Paul old man now now prisoner also for Christ Jesus. I appeal to you for my child, an SMS father. I became in my imprisonment. You let in the crisis. What he means. Formerly, he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful. There is a play on words happening agreed because an SMS in Greek literally means useful more than just his previous usefulness as a servant in your house Philemon God has a role for him and his kingdom is gone way beyond his previous usefulness.

God has chosen him to be an instrument of blessing verse 12. I am sending him back to you and sending my very heart when I do so I would have been glad to have kept them with me in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I prefer to do nothing without your consent. In order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but all of your own accord for this is perhaps why he was parted from you for a while that you might have been back forever. Not as a bondservant. However, more than a bondservant that you would have them back as a beloved brother. Verse 17.

So if you consider me your partner receive him as you would receive me. If he is wrong to it all grows you anything charge that to my account. I Paul write this with my own hand, I will repay it to say nothing of you owing me.

Even your own self, since after I let you Christ. I suppose pretty good at the guilt trip Jewish Christian friend who says clearly here. Paul had a Jewish mother laid on the kind of guilt trip because that's a talent fall baseball says so Philemon while you languish around in your luxurious house with all your servants high and old man in here in prison for the gospel, by the way, did I remind you that that I led you to Christ about me you would be on your way to hell and then Paul concludes with this verse 22. One more thing please repair a guestroom for me, for I'm hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon. In other words, oh yeah, I met you to be there in a few months.

This can be really really awkward if you do not do what I am saying. Furthermore, this letter is going to go in the Bible, which means that for the rest of Christian history you don't do.

I say you're going to be known as that guy, but no pressure man totally up to you in course an SMS is the one who actually delivers this letter so I Philemon is reading it. An estimate is gonna stand there grinning like you know what you say uncle five you know what can happen here. Right before we go any farther. Let's deal with an obvious question that some of you had as I have been reading through this question is does the Bible here condone slavery.

Sadly, some Christians throughout history have interpreted it that way but that is a very simplistic, very twisted and quite frankly, very wrong. Understanding three things to remember number one. The bondservant here is nothing like what we think of when we say slave we think slave we think he takes my captive and force them into labor. That kind of slavery is explicitly condemned in the Bible.

This scholar say was more like what we think of as indentured servant hood and it was part of the economic system in Rome for some your translation say bondservant. Some say servant. Some say slave is one word in Greek the community number of things. The word was due to loss which leads me to number two. The New Testament subverts the entire premise of any form of slavery you can summarize the entire New Testament at think about how we are to treat one another in love your neighbor as yourself and one others as you would have been doing to you.

It calls us to treat one another as brothers and sisters and tells us that in Christ there is neither slave nor free in Christ masters and servants become brothers and sisters that new view of humanity would ultimately undo any form of slavery which leads me to number three, rather than issuing a political manifesto. God planted seeds which undid the current order.

Eventually this new vision of humanity would transform the whole society.

But God started it through the gospel and the church.

That's what Paul is doing here Philemon. He says in verse eight I could command you to be generous. That will be required. I could rub the apostle bomb in order you around, but I would rather press the gospel of your heart and tell you obey the implications Casitas real change. I would rather see you transform by log liberated with all because I can't change is permanent and beautiful and I can't change leads to an entirely new world order. So that's the way that I am going to press this into your heart to the question then is what it Philemon do with this letter you obey it never tells us, but ask yourself this.

How did this little letter get in the Bible. It was a private letter only sent only to Philemon, which means that he would have the only copy to get into wide circulation. Philemon would've had to put it there and I just don't think the Philemon would've said hey your letter, Paul wrote me with counsel that I completely ignored the David into circulation because he heated it for himself or gave an estimate of his debts and released him. Even though it came at great personal cost himself even circulated a letter is a picture of the new world order that the gospel would create in the churches in here is where it gets even more interesting to me. A few decades later a church leader named Ignatius refers to an elderly bishop of Ephesus, which was one of the leading churches in the ancient world named an SMS which scholars say would have been a very uncommon name among people in leadership positions in that day so many scholars based on the timing and the context of Ignatius's reference believe that to be the anastomosis of Philemon. So what you see in the book of Philemon is a beautiful picture of the gospel and a perfect picture of the mission of this and really any church. Philemon is a self-centered businessman transformed into a beautiful picture of generosity and an SMS is a pilfering feed transformed into the leader of one of the most important churches in the ancient world. Write this down to take notes. A.

We as a church want to see Philemon's become radically generous participants in the mission of God. I would say that we have a lot of Philemon's in this church who are sincere in their faith like Philemon was a regular.

The church, the pastor knows their name like Paul Newman. Philemon was but they have yet to ask the really hard questions about how God wants to use their lives in the mission to give and serve where it is costly. God wants you to become a person who is characterized by grace and generosity were you don't just ask what do I have to give you start to ask how can I best leverage my life for the kingdom of God. What do I have that is used whole for God's kingdom and not just useful in my you are to say to God, it's all yours. You poured out everything for me. Where would I be without you. You didn't hide your blood for me. You poured out everything so got I don't want to just be faithful to 10% how to be faithful with all of to the question of the believer is God.

How do I level what you have it useful.

What resource do I have what what calendar I have. What time do I have that is useful in your kingdom because I want my life like Philemon to be a response not just of the minimum requirement.

I wanted to be poured out to the measure the Jesus for his out for me, Philemon, and by the way this applies to all areas of your life, not just your resources when you begin to look at all of your life as time, treasure count, what do I have what Nesta must do. I have that would be useful in God's kingdom and God do you want to use that in your kingdom.

Show me how is you what I realize is we do this is there's a lot of Philemon's in here that need to actually get engaged in the mission of God, because Jesus listen Philemon. Jesus did not save you to sideline you he saves you with the intent of putting you in the prime spot in his game say believers just to bless them. He blesses you to be a blessing has a question you gotta start asking yourself is God I am Philemon how you want to use me. I told you before that, I mean yes I love you how God is, Bernard Chertoff told you that often off like a quarterback in a hot so this is Anton Brady. Can you guys.

I worry laughing is at that heartedly right so we come in here each week as a quarterback in the huddle, I called way and like what happens is a lot of people like man I was an awesome play.

The play down was a great play metal good friends about it and they all coming back over and sit down on the bench we mail and feel by myself so I can deflate the ball my own not getting he didn't do that and like a couple minutes later he run back onto the field you like. Call us another play cyclone of the play.

I know I'm wow that was an awesome play goosebumps when you call, not what you do best play: the city and immerse Michael play like you, podcast that play throughout the week.

Listen to it again and again and back you go over and sit on the bench and this is what we do, week by week at some point I want to say it's not me calling play point is you running play.

It starts with small steps getting financially the kingdom for the first time reaching out to somebody in your neighborhood or workplace, and inviting them to come with you in this journey of faith here volunteering join in a small group but I would counsel you with what Paul said the Philemon. I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Generosity that comes from your faith translation. What kind of generosity was your faith demand. Think about how much your life is going to grace your your life like your self-made man Philemon were to be with Jesus. Where would you be had God not sent me to preach the gospel to you. Where would you be jealous and I'm an American through and through. I believe in personal initiative and that God is given us the ability to prosper and do great things of the governments of mostly to stay out of her way but think for a minute about how much of your success, you owe to others. You have no real control the talent you inherited.

I was a senior DNA. Your parents gave you union control the country of your birth.

You didn't really control the make a bigger body and your health. These things are a gift that's not even to mention the price Jesus paid to free you from sin and Paul would say to Philemon. I would say to you that demands something that demands something. Those who have received that kind of grace those who feel how helpless they were no longer look at live their lives have something to acquire could make them your good to put in the useful service for them. They say God how does what I have, how can it bless someone else as you have blessed me not want to like the concept of handouts, you better learn.

If you go to heaven because God's grace was God giving you what you could never earn on your own. You were helpless you were dead and God saved you and he says if you have received that kind of grace you will give that kind of grace as he loved you, brothers and sisters, we ought also to love one another. We are not self-made. We are blood bought and that makes us grace filled B. We want to see mostly Philemon's become radically generous participants in the missing dollar B want to see Vanessa Mrs. was a total little that Vanessa my better or if you're Greek Vanessa Moy.

Maybe that's right.

We want to see the Vanessa Moy of our community become world changing leaders.

Slavery is a picture of sin is not many in our community are enslaved to simple passions idolatries slots, even things like drugs. Many of you are or were in that category. Send the slavery of sin destroys our usefulness. God created you. You seem to be useful, but sin made you use less our church at our church. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ can liberate you to become what God has created you to be and that he has an intention to use you as a useful instrument in his kingdom larger than anything. You probably have ever realized that's what Paul said to Philemon.

Annette Smith is not just useful as a servant in your household.

God has a plan for him and his kingdom is you think here of a prisoner who the process of rehabilitation got baptized right here at the summit church is now leading in our services that we hold on one of the prison campuses. They are in has said that he wants to go overseas on the mission field. After he is out to carry the gospel to others and God says Yep I'm going to use you as a blessing to make an eternal difference in people. I have chosen you. I have selected you. I have ordained you. I put my Spirit in you. I put the very power of heaven itself.

You're not just a release prisoner your son of God with a future that I have for you.

Think of a girl who leads in our unwed leads a lot of her ministries, unwed mothers here in the church, she said recently to me. I was a rebel teen who partied hard, sold, and did drugs. I had an abortion and now became a high dollar hooker. And then Jesus called me to himself and now I lead a ministry to unwed mothers helping them put back together their lives after making disastrous decisions and as I said, she now leads a lot of her ministries here. The summit church unwed mothers from use less to useful.

She now rebuilds the very lives.

She wants had destroyed his ears. What excites me summit church. What enslaved person while rehabilitating prisoner what high school dropout. What rebellious teenager. What hunger for college student what girl they just had an abortion is here this weekend will be here next weekend. That is the next generation's great Christian leader Vanessa Mrs. God has a plan for you.

God chased you to Rome he put Paul in your life and I Paul begin to preach the gospel to you and it wouldn't so that you can just go back to your former life. It was because he wanted to make you useful in his kingdom and see what he had planned for you. It would blow your mind. There was a church in Ephesus that needed a leader and God shows a runaway pilfering the thief to become the leader of that church. That's what he wants to do with many of you Philemon's God has a plan for you. You think about how much you owe to grace and then begin to treat others as you been treated using the truth is we are all an SMS and we are all Philemon's we were all enslaved to sin.

We've all done great wrong and we are all people who have been shown some lavish generosity that makes us a community of equals makes us a people great grace makes us people that are all an urgent mission because Paul said. Romans 1011.

There is no difference in the Jew or the Greek or black and white of the rich and poor, young, the old educated, the uneducated, the incarcerated of the free, there is one Lord over all Banff who is extended the same salvation all them, for whosoever he says will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The ground is level at the foot of the cross and the mission is the same you receive grace your saved by grace, dispense grace the gospel transforms the ruthless into the generous man slaved into the empowered levels. The oppressor and the oppressed, the life exalting one out of slavery and humbling the other with grace and redeems us both with mercy and make a sit down together as brothers in Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, no hierarchy. We are all one in Christ Jesus, all redeemed by his blood, all given the mission of reconciliation and for many of you that starts by taking a step to get engaged in the mission for some of you it's gonna start on a personal level.

Maybe you're in the position of an SMS. Maybe you've done wrong you are to repent, even if you felt justified in the wrong that you did, but you know I'm sure Vanessa is felt justified. You've got to go make it right. This weekend, you got to repent ye say this because I might lose my job.

Vanessa must could have been thrown in prison or worse if you're in the position of a Philemon somebody has wronged you. You need to let it go. I'm not saying it would be easy as spouse, you gotta forgive this apparent you get a forgive others a business partner. You gotta forgive your site. You gotta think about it, how gracious is Jesus been to you. Where would your life be without his grace. Can you say like Paul charge it to my account because that's what forgiveness is visited you did wrong, I pay for it your policy that who said that to him who said you did wrong.

Charge it to my account. Paul would say, a second within 521 BC God made him Jesus, who knew no sin to become my sin, so that I could be made the righteousness of God in him. Surely it is a truth he said that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief I did wrong. Jesus said, put it to my account and Paul said if I have received that kind of grace, then surely I'm on one who has been bought by this blood. That ought to spend my life saying let me pay for your salvation. Part of my account to the question is how are you treating your Vanessa messes in your life. Last thing which you think for a minute, raising the situation one Paul stumbled onto him and well smaller than that it is still the largest in the world just as many my favorite personal Philemon 15. This perhaps is why he was part of from you for a while, she might haven't gone forever. You sense and maybe that's happening with you this weekend. See, I know some of their summer. Vanessa messes that are here, but Johnson up all your life. Recently one random conversation, you have the person that invited you this weekend that didn't doubt you, but having the questions the fears, the pain is random. That's God pursuing you in Rome since I had a plan for you. You should not kingdom make money and wanted to be just a prosperous life boring use you in my eternal kingdom that usually starts when you repent you and receiving grace receiving blessing and becoming that was started that Johnny cannot begins with perception of grace and in turn you into a receptacle in the and share this with others. With this message come to the end of our short theories, everyday theology here on Senate life with Jeannie Greer, our newest resource is a workbook study called start the foundations of Christian faith. For J when we say foundations of Christian faith. Does that mean start is a resource designed to help you know God and relate to him right through a relationship is not faxed to memorize doctors to master sure there's information in there. It's Dr. Nolan can help you deeper in Scripture about the six sessions are designed to help you walk with God they build on each other by developing the main storyline of the Bible. Each session will develop a story further will show you how your story fits into the gospel story, I used that Molly read the Bible and that was all about me, things I could learn from different by whatever's upon my life and there is a lot of truth in their principles. I can apply but most important thing about the Bible seeing how your story fits into God's bigger story how it's a story about Christ and how your story, while very small plays a role in a very large toy that goes on forever.

The six sessions in and just hearing them. I think you can see what they be so helpful, so foundational for secession on the gospel well structured Jesus. What did you know not only how to explain the gospel, but what it really the role it plays in your life. Second is the Bible is God speaking. How do you get the most of the Bible didn't. There's God himself. How can you know the unknowable. How can you have a relationship with the greatest been imagined.

And there's the fourth lessons about mankind. You make sense of your life in the world that you live in. How do you fulfill the role and purposes God has for you for the lessons on the church and that is how do we relate to the body of Christ and the last one is what's next. What I do with all this and how do I begin this lifelong journey of discipleship. These are six foundations that we all.

I think use a refresher aunts whether your brand-new I'm in your walk with Jesus or you just need a refresh. I think this is a great resource to help you will help you help somebody else will. Jesus stop by and would love to connect when you join us today by giving sinners will say thanks for sending your request a copy right now when you get by calling eight 635-5228 66335 start when you donate online events all telling you about the start now. Thursday week teaching series that is a resource on Senate banking

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