Equals in Christ
Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 6,7; 2 Chronicles 26,27; Philemon
Today’s Key Passage – Philemon 8-21
In today’s reading, we find the book of Philemon. This short book is a personal letter written by the apostle Paul to a man named Philemon. Philemon was a Greek landowner who was a member of the church in Colosse. Paul was writing to Philemon about a man named Onesimus, who was a slave of Philemon that ran away and fled to Rome. God led Onesimus to Paul, and Paul converted Onesimus to Christianity. After his conversion, Paul convinced Onesimus to return to Philemon to reconcile, and Paul wrote this letter to try to persuade Philemon. In the early Roman Empire, slavery was common and a landowner had a legal right to kill a runaway slave. Paul, however, wanted Philemon to put aside his legal rights and focus instead on something much more important than what the law said. Paul wanted Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his life. More importantly, Paul wanted Philemon to accept Onesimus not as a slave, but as his brother in Christ. He said, “So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.” (Vs. 17) Paul wanted Philemon to realize that despite their differences in social status, wealth, and background, he and Onesimus were members of the same family. They were both saved by God, and they were both equals in Christ.
I think many Christians today forget about this fact. They focus on the differences between themselves and other members of the church. They get caught up in things like denomination, race, social status, or wealth. These differences divide the church and hurt its overall mission in the world. The fact of the matter is that we are all part of the same church. Regardless of any other status given to us by the world, we are all part of the family of God. We are all saved by His grace. We are all equals in Christ. Do you know anyone you have a hard time getting along with? Do you know a person whose personality conflicts with yours? Do you know someone who has wronged you or slighted you in some way and you are still holding a bit of a grudge? If so, put aside these differences. Instead of focusing on what that person has done or said, and instead of focusing on the past, focus on one simple truth. If that person has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then he or she is your brother or sister in Christ. In the eyes of God, we are all individuals but we are also all equals. He loves each of us exactly the same. As we work to become more like Christ, let us all remember the book of Philemon. Let us all put aside our differences. Let us all remember that we are equals in Christ.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.