Readings Philemon 1
Okay, so there are some things that I really do not want to experience myself!
How many times have you read about places in the world that you wish you could visit? Or about things to do, that you would love to do? Well, all you need to do is go to your local library, or go online and read about them. It is just the same as being there and doing it, right?
I remember years ago going to an event in downtown Grand Rapids, where someone would be showing his or her pictures of places they had traveled. It was wonderful, yet it is not the same as being there. It can be frustrating trying to convey to someone the experience you have had in going somewhere they have not been, or doing something they have not done. Nothing compares with the real thing.
Having had the privilege of traveling to India and a few other foreign countries, I would try to share with my wife what had gone on. It was very difficult. Likewise when she went to Israel and I did not, she longed for me to go back, because she wanted me to experience it as well. For me, I did not want to go anywhere without her, because of not being able to share the experience to it’s fullest together.
The following verse can be somewhat difficult to sort out. Look at it in a variety of translations.
Philemon 1:6 (NASB95)
6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.
Philemon 1:6 (NIV)
6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Philemon 1:6 (KJV)
6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
Philemon 1:6 (NLT)
6 And 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.
No matter how exactly you translate it, it has the truth in it that we must be sharing our faith, whether through word or deed, whether with fellow believers on not. The faith that we enjoy must be lived out.
The knowledge that is talked about, or the understanding of every good thing, is an experiential understanding. It is not a textbook knowledge, but one that is developed as you live out your life of faith.
The initial segment of the verse, the sharing of our faith with others, could either mean that in doing that, we can come to a deeper understanding of what we have in Christ. Or it can be a result of our understanding of what we have in Christ, that we have a deep desire and will act out of love and thankfulness, and share all that we have in Christ with others.
Either way you look at it, we should be looking into the things of Christ in His Word, and we should be sharing what we have in Christ with others. So no matter how exactly you translate this verse, we are to be active in sharing our faith, and active in learning more of our Lord and all He is in us and through us.
As the famous shoe commercial would say, “Just do it!” (realizing that “we” only do it as the Spirit empowers us!)
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