Sharing Faith – Philemon 1:6

I pray you maybe active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Phil1:6)

Sharing your faith

The Apostle Paul writes to a follower of Christ beseeching him to forgive a runaway slave that Paul now returns to him (in Christ). This verse can often be interpreted as the aspect of sharing our faith with others in the proclamation of the Gospel. However, when viewed in context, Paul prepares his reader for the ensuing request. That being – forgiveness.

Rupprecht (1978) states “Paul prays that Philemon’s participation in the faith will be made effective because of his full understanding of God’s goodness to both of them”. Rupprecht continues that the interpretation of this is faith being shown in knowledge before good works.

However,  in this context (taking into account the epistle’s primary purpose) perhaps Paul’s intention is in faith expressing itself in action. Faith showing itself in good deeds (Jam 2:17).

Paul appeals to Philemon to forgive the former runaway slave Onesimus, and now to recieve him as brother. To forgive his misdoings and thus show his faith, sharing it with the one he recieves back.  Such reconciliation bringing about a deepening in understanding of every good thing a Christian has in Christ. Paul emphasizes this, reminding Philemon in the benefit of receiving Onesimus as a new brother (Phil 1:15).

Sharing your faith is not only in word but in action. Love in Action. Mercy over judgement – forgiving as you to have been forgiven (Mat 6:14) and then sharing in the goodness that follows.