Philemon, Hebrews 1-2
Philemon was a Christian of Colosse in Asia Minor (Turkey) who was taught by the apostle Paul and thereafter became a fellow worker of Christ with Paul; a church met in Philemon's house. As was commonly the practice then (and still today), "the church in thy house" (Philemon 1:2) refers to how small local groups of Christians (the true meaning of "church" means people - see What Is The Church?) met in each other's homes (see Houses Of The Holy).
The purpose of Paul's letter to Philemon was to intercede for Onesimus, a bound servant of Philemon who had fled from Philemon at Colosse to Paul at Rome where, like Philemon, the conversion of Onesimus was facilitated by the teaching of Paul. In effect, Paul, despite being held in prison by the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome and All Roads Lead To Rome), was then instrumental in the converting of a master and his fugitive slave into two brothers in Christ (see also No Class Struggles In Christianity).
1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
"1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints [see What Is A Saint?]; 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother." (Philemon 1:1-7 KJV)
Paul's intervention for Onesimus was based upon the principle that all Christians are "slaves" - of Christ, not each other (see Christianos to understand the surprising actual meaning of "Christian"). Amazingly, Paul worked to set free a new fellow Christian while he himself was in Roman chains i.e. "1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds" (Philemon 1:10 KJV).
"1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
1:9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
1:23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." (Philemon 1:8-25 KJV)
Hebrews Chapter 1
Of all of the Epistles, the author of this letter to the "Hebrews" is not plainly stated. Although the debate continues, as it has for centuries, most believe that it was Paul (as does the author of this study). Clues such as "13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you" (Romans 13:23 KJV) strongly indicate Paul because Timothy was very closely associated with Paul's Ministry.
"1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [see Christ The Creator]; 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?];
1:4 Being made so much better than the angels [see also What Do Angels Do?], as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? [see also The Ancient of Days]
1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world [listen also to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page], he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits [see also Ghost and Spirit: What's The Difference?], and his ministers a flame of fire.
1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever [see also The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth]: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands [again, see Christ The Creator; also How Old Is God?]: 1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? [see The Coming World Dictator]1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:1-14 KJV)
Hebrews Chapter 2
God makes available the ability to understand His Truth (see The Cure For The Carnal Mind). Thereafter, one is held responsible (see When Will You Be Judged?; also Could Christ Return Tonight?).
"2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward [see A Reward For Everyone]; 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of The Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" (Hebrews 2:1-4 KJV)
Jesus Christ was as human as Adam was (see The Adam Family).
"2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.
For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one [see Sanctify]: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
2:13 And again, I will put my Trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 2:15 And deliver [see Deliverance] them who through fear of death [see were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted [see Could Jesus Have Sinned?], he is able to succour them that are tempted." (Hebrews 2:5-18 KJV)
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