The church members continued studying Paul’s letter to Philemon with the main passage in verses 4 to 7. The passage gives us the understanding of what it means to be a body of Christ and how our lives affect people around us. Paul gave a beautiful testimony of Philemon’s life who through his faith in Jesus Christ brought agape love, joy, comfort and rest into lives of others, including Paul’s. As verse 6 reveals, we live our life of faith in partnership with our brothers and sisters in Christ and by actively sharing ‘every good thing’ God has done in our lives, we gain increasingly deeper and fuller understanding of God’s love for each one of us, thus glorifying God. God works and changes our lives through others in the body of Christ, our race is not a solo run, but a team effort – this is a great and humble understanding of Paul that we need to share and receive God’s gifts with others in order to grow spiritually.
Looking at Paul’s testimony on how Philemon’s faith and love had deep effect on him, we need to ask ourselves a question of how our lives, words and actions affect people around us – whether it is joy, comfort and rest we bring in people’s hearts or whether we are adding to their disappointments and frustrations. In order for our lives to have such testimony as Philemon, we need to build on the foundation of Christ’s love for us and our firm faith in His love. It is not by skill or personality, but by knowing God’s love. When we ourselves are transformed in our hearts by His love, God works through us by giving joy and encouragement to others and building them up.