Active in sharing our faith.

Far to often we think of sharing our faith as being an activity where we go and share the gospel with someone else. And certainly there is something great that happens when we do share about Christ with others. Yet, we limit the scope of what it means to be active in sharing our faith, if we limit it to that of overt evangelism.

I have been thinking through Paul’s letter to Philemon. It’s the shortest letter in the New Testament and perhaps for the most part is a letter that is normally missed out in our devotional reading. I mean, after all, its a private letter to a slave owner, where Paul is asking him to free his runaway slave.

But there is a powerful prayer that Paul prays in verse 6. “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every thing we have in Christ.”

Paul is praying that the rubber will hit the road for the person he is praying for. That he will live his life in a way that reflects the fullness of the gospel and not just speaks about it. For him, he taps into his theme in Galatians where he says in Christ there is no age, gender, nationality or social class distinctions.

For the slave owner to truly get full understanding of what it means to live in the freedom of Christ – Paul is encouraging him to set his slave free, so that the truth of all being equal in Christ is reflected through his lifestyle.

I have to ask myself the question,what are the things that I do that prevent me from having a full understanding of Christ?

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2 Comments on “Active in sharing our faith.”

  1. David McKay says:

    Hi Craig, I’m no expert, but I understand that the new NIV translation of Philemon verse 6 is an improvement on the original NIV:
    I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
    The New International Version. (2011). (Phm 6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

    This is closer to the way other recent translations have rendered the verse, such as, the ESV:

    and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Phm 6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comment.

      According to Bible Gateway, the ESV renders this passage as…” 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ”

      Certainly I think the context of the passage can lean towards the latest NIV rendering and either way, it doesn’t take away the context of what the partnering actually means.


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