Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
CHANGES IN THE LINEUP
Philemon 1-15

Introduction:  No book in the Bible is more surprising than Philemon, and none is more practical.

Proposition:  A new relationship with Christ changes our human relationships.

 I.  PAUL HAS A NEW SON

A.  Begotten by the gospel
B.  Born from above
C.  Brought into the Christian family
 II.  PHILEMON HAS A NEW BROTHER
A.  They share the same mentor Paul.
B.  They share the same task Evangelism.
C.  They share the same bond Love.
D.  They share the same faith in God.
III.  ONESIMUS HAS A NEW MASTER
A.  God takes priority over the old master.
B.  He does not eliminate the old relationship.
C.  He puts new light on the old relationship.
D.  He adds a new dimension to the old relationship.
Conclusion:  Human relationships are important, but the most important relationship is that between you and God.

    If you visit Nashville, Tennessee, you will likely also visit the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson.  Andrew Jackson, the man who transformed American politics, put his own indelible stamp on government.  He is remembered as "Old Hickory," a rough and tough, hard-fighting man.  A different side of the man is seen when you visit his tomb.  Buried right next to him is a servant, his faithful valet.  If you study the history of the times, you will find that that humble servant was married in the great mansion of the Hermitage.  You will find that Jackson, in his will, gave him a lifetime position.  All his life, he lived next to Jackson and is buried beside him.  When you consider the social inequities of that time, you see an amazing bond between master and servant, between a President and his valet.
 

    Prince Philip is known everywhere as the handsome husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.  He was born a prince of Greece, though no Greek blood flows through his veins.  He is, instead, of German and Danish ancestry.  As a baby, he was smuggled out of Greece in a crate made from an orange box.  That hardly befits a prince!  Later, he took the last name of his English uncle, Mountbatten.  Now he is known as the consort of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.  You talk about an identity problem!  We all have identity problems.  We have spiritual identity problems.  Revelation, chapter one, says God has made
us kings and priests, yet the Gospels and the epistles say we are servants and slaves. We are paupers who are heirs of the world!  We are peasants who shall someday rule the world!
 

    Few pictures are more quickly recognized than the picture of that magnificent Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn.  The classic view is taken from Zermatt, a small Alpine village.  That classic view can be seen only from the steps of the church in Zermatt!  So the church gives us the best viewpoint of life, the clearest picture of who we are and what we are meant to be.
 

    Darius, with his Persian Empire, was threatened by the conquering armies of Alexander the Great.  He offered a truce.  He offered to give Alexander one third of his empire, his daughter in marriage, and three hundred million dollars!  Alexander's trusted adviser, Parmenion, said, "Were I Alexander, I would accept."  Said Alexander, "So would I, were I Parmenion," and he refused.  Our decisions are governed by our sense of identity.  Do you know what and who you are?
 

    We do not understand the slavery of the New Testament.  We see it only in terms of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  It was a different kind of bondage.  It was more economic than physical.  Slaves were often teachers and thinkers.  ln many cities, the most educated people in town were slaves.  To understand this helps us to see how Paul could urge Onesimus to go back into slavery under Philemon.  Paul could accept the economic order of his day if it were leavened by the spirit and influence of Christian love.  And always, Paul saw in the economic order an illustration of the spiritual order of things Christ our Master, we His willing subjects and bond servants.


Live With Power (Phillipians 4:1-13)
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