True Christian Fellowship | The Institute for Creation Research
True Christian Fellowship

“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon 6).

This one-chapter epistle of Paul to his friend Philemon is essentially a personal request by Paul that Philemon forgive his runaway slave, Onesimus, and receive him back into “the church in thy house” as a new Christian, recently won to Christ (vv.2,10,15,16). Our text is Paul’s prayer for Philemon and is similar to prayers by him for other believers (e.g., Colossians 1:9,10). It is an appropriate prayer on behalf of any fellow Christian. Its emphasis is on the blessings and responsibilities of true fellowship.

The “communication” of which Paul speaks is the Greek word koinonia, meaning “fellowship.” That is, genuine Christian faith involves a sharing of one’s life with others of “like precious faith” (II Peter 1:1). That fellowship becomes “effectual” (literally, “full of power,” from the Greek energes, “energizing”) only through recognizing and appreciating all the blessings we have received through Christ.

Paul pointed out that he himself should be counted as a “partner” with Philemon (v.17). Here the Greek is koinonos, practically the same as koinonia. Both Philemon, the wealthy Colossian master, and Onesimus, his runaway bondservant, were Paul’s spiritual children (v.19), so they all theoretically shared “every good thing” in fellowship through Christ. Thus Paul offered to repay anything Onesimus had stolen or any other losses, should Philemon so insist (vv.18,19).

The demands of Christian fellowship thus might cost Onesimus his freedom, Paul his helper, and Philemon his property. True fellowship is not mere Christian socializing. It is the sharing of love and concern, time and talents, possessions and even life itself, as need and circumstance demand, with others in the household of faith. HMM

The Latest
DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Human Hands
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Dross and Dilution
The first of seven great signs of Jesus’ deity recorded in John’s gospel is the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). By the time Jesus...

APOLOGETICS
Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?
At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that...

ACTS & FACTS
Gunnison's Black Canyon: The Flood Solves Mysterious Missing...
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Gunnison River winds westward from the Colorado Rocky Mountains through dry and dramatic landscapes....

ACTS & FACTS
Do We See Complex Design in Mosquito Eggs?
Mosquitoes hatch from tiny eggs and spend a few days filter-feeding on things like bacteria, pollen, and algae. They molt three times as they grow,...

ACTS & FACTS
A Texas-Size Spider Mystery
The delightfully creepy spider belongs to a class called Arachnida—which is distinct from the “bug” class Insecta. Not surprisingly,...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Fins-to-Feet Transition
One of the alleged greatest transformations in vertebrate evolution is said to be the emergence of creatures that traded fins for feet and transitioned...

RESEARCH
Largest Canyons Were Formed by the Receding Flood
Two newly discovered canyons in Greenland and Antarctica have a lot in common with Grand Canyon. Both canyons are as deep as or deeper than Grand Canyon...

ACTS & FACTS
ICR Upholds the Clarity of Scripture
“The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God” has been affirmed repeatedly from pulpits. But did you know this important declaration...