A Simple Message
I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
Hello, dear reader, I am grateful to once again be writing to you about living faithfully to our lord and savior Jesus Christ in today’s world.
This week I would like to focus on this small excerpt from Paul’s epistle to his fellow laborer Philemon. This epistle is notable in its appeal to grace, forgiveness, and kindness, which is exemplified in the primary subject matter of Paul petitioning Philemon to forgive the prisoner Onesimus.
We see Paul calls to remembrance Philemon’s past ignorance when he himself was lost on the spiritual path before coming to know Christ. By reminding Philemon of his own need for grace and love, he encourages his fellow believer to extend the same grace and love to Onesimus, who was in similar need.
There is much in this passage that could be explored and applied to our daily lives, and Lord willing, we may put focus on that in the future, though this week I want to focus on how this applies to our own work of sharing our faith.
As we seek to follow the commandments left by Christ to go out into all the world teaching the Gospel, I believe this passage is uniquely useful in guiding us on how to most effectively represent our savior to the world.
Paul states that effective sharing of faith is accomplished by acknowledging every good thing Christ has placed within us.
The fifth chapter of Galatians tells us that the fruits of the spirit given to believers are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, with a reminder that there is no scriptural law forbidding these things. By taking these passages together, we are shown that to effectively share our faith to the world requires us to approach the world with Christ-like love and goodness.
There was a time that simply reaffirming what someone already knew about Christ and the dangers of sin was sufficient to bring them to repentance, that time has long-since passed. We now live in a world where nearly an entire generation is completely unaware of what we would consider to be basic Bible teaching.
This modern world, a world that has been hurt by the cruelty and legalism of false professors of the faith, is drowning in a world of constant information that muffles the mere words of believers. If we want this world to see Christ’s light, we can no longer be content to simply tell them about it; we have to show them by how we live and how we treat others.
By living a life of faith and love, the sharing of our faith can be made effective.
Jason Shockley is an evangelist and teacher passionate about uplifting others through the word of God.