Gene Cunningham - August 2, 2011
Profitable faith is illustrated by change in Onesimus (Phm 1:10).
Doctrine of profitable faith:
- A living faith is fruitful and productive giving glory to God (Joh 15:1-8).
- "Every branch that doesn't bear fruit He lifts up" (Joh 15:2). Some bad translations say "He takes away". The vinedresser puts rocks under the vine to get it up off the ground.
- Once for all salvation is illustrated by the initial pruning (Joh 15:2-3).
- "Abide in me" refers to a life of fellowship (Joh 15:4).
- Fellowship produces fruit (Joh 15:5).
- Unproductive "branches wither and are cast out" (Joh 15:6).
- Unproductive believers are rejected by the world as a witness to Christ. Living in fellowship is an ingredient to effective prayer (Joh 15:7).
- Spiritual fruit is the evidence of regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9-17). The Spirit is able to give life to your mortal body; Paul is talking about resurrection life now (Phi 3:10).
- The growing fruitful christian life will be profitable to others. Onesimus was unprofitable, but now is profitable to others (Phm 1:6, Phm 1:20, Jam 1:21-27, Jam 2:14-17).
- The profit of Onesimus is not only in his salvation, but also in his service.
- The fruit of the Spirit is a by product of the fellowship with the Spirit (Gal 5:1, Gal 5:13, Gal 5:16, Gal 5:22). Stand firm in freedom so you can serve others.
- The "much more" power of God's Grace is manifest through the believer's growth and productivity (Phm 1:16, Phm 1:21, Rom 5:15, Rom 5:17, Rom 5:20). The "much more" is linked to overcoming to give us a testimony and service in other peoples' lives.
"Since you count me as partner, receive him as you would me" (Phm 1:17-19). In Paul's own hand he became legally accountable for Onesimus' debt. The good Samaritan took responsibility for the stranger's debt (Luk 10:30-36). This is what Jesus came to do for us. In this is the Doctrine of Substitution and Imputation. He became our substitute (2Co 5:21). Jesus paid once for all. His righteousness has been applied to us (Eph 1:6); we are "accepted in the beloved". Paul effectively says "Onmesimus stands in my place, I stand in his place." The letter to Philemon was a legal document.
Jesus Christ took your place on the cross; He paid your debt; He removed your condemnation; He took your shame. Why? So that you could bear His Righteousness and share in His likeness. When God looks at you He sees His own Son. Jesus said to the Father in effect "I will repay. Receive them as you would receive Me". "By this faith we have access into this Grace in which we stand" (Rom 15:2). "Let us come boldly to the throne of His Grace" (Heb 4:16). How can we do these things? We are are seen as He as seen; we are accepted in the beloved.
Conference notes for this series can be found [HERE]
Scripture References: John 15:7, Romans 15:2, James 2:14-17, Philippians 1:10, Philippians 1:21, John 15:6, Ephesians 1:6, James 1:21-27, Philippians 1:16, John 15:5, Luke 10:30-36, Philippians 1:20, Galatians 5:22, John 15:4, Philippians 1:17-19, Philippians 1:6, Galatians 5:16, John 15:2-3, Romans 5:20, Philippians 3:10, Galatians 5:13, John 15:2, Romans 5:17, Romans 8:9-17, Hebrews 4:16, Galatians 5:1, John 15:1-8, Romans 5:15
From Series: "Philemon - A Living Parable of God's Redemption - California 2011"
In Philemon 10-11 Paul writes 'I appeal to you for my son Onesimus whom I have begotten while in my chains who once was unprofitable to you but now is profitable to you and to me.' These verses highlight the theme of the letter namely redemption and reconciliation. The annual Weekend Bible Conference was held 5-7 August 2011 in Orange County California.