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New Testament Postcards

by Larry Miles

I am  starting a series on the  "One Chapter" Books of the New Testament. Some of the  basice   thoughts were presented at "Polishing the Pulpit," 2010.  I  taught these studies in the  Winter 2010-2011 Quarter at Cherry Street Church   of Christ in New Albany, IN.

The  first  lesson will be  an introduction to the  series and an introduction to the  Book of Philemon.

-Some Characteristics of “Postcards”

What are some of the things you think about when you hear the word “postcard?”

Introduction of the Book of Philemon

Philemon is the most private, personal, and petite of Paul’s epistles.It is almost hidden in the New Testament, at near the end of Paul’s writings, between Titus and Hebrews.

Mark Copeland writes: "Like the epistle to the Colossians, the epistle to Philemon was written when Paul was in chains (1, 10, 13, 23) Timothy is mentioned in both Philemon 1 and in Col. 1:1. Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke joined in the salutation of both ) 23, 24; Col. 4:10-14). Onesimus, the subject of this epistle, was one of the messengers by whom the epistle to the Colossians was sent (Col. 4:7-9) Archippus, to who this epistle is partially addressed (2) is also addressed in the epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:17)."

The Epistle of Philemon, was written to Philemon, a well to do citizen of Colossae. It was probably delivered by Tychicus, who delivered both the Ephesian and Colossian letters. His companion was Onesimus, one of the main characters of this narrative.

Philemon touched on a very sensitive issue in the first century – slavery. No doubt, some would have suggested that Paul had stopped preaching and gone to meddling.

Philippians and Philemon allow us to see his heart. In those books, we see how loving he was.

Martin Luther noted, “We are all God’s Onesimi.” For sure, there is some of us in Onesimus.

Larry Miles is a  Christian Writer. He lives in Louisville, KY

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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8