Home > Christianity, Faith > 2 Lessons From The Apostle Paul

2 Lessons From The Apostle Paul

About eleven years ago, I walked in to my 8 a.m. Greek class during my one and only year in seminary.  The professor was a Ph. D. student from Cameroon with a very thick accent.  He introduced himself this way: “My name is Philemon Yong.”  Say his name real fast a time or two and you will realize why we all, including the professor, had a good laugh to start off our class.

I lead off with that because we were studying Philemon in Sunday School recently.  What I saw were two things that truly stood out to me.  One I had seen before, but hadn’t thought of in a long time.  The other is relatively new.

Both came near the end of the epistle and had absolutely nothing to do with the lesson.

The first is contained in one word.  Mark.  Paul just kind of slides it in there very nonchalantly.  Mark.  He includes him in a list of other guys that he describes as fellow workers.  This might not sound terribly important if we didn’t know what happened a few years before.

Mark had gone on a trip with Paul and Barnabas, but ended up abandoning them.  As Paul and Barnabas began making plans for another trip, Barnabas wanted to take Mark along again.  Paul said no.  They disagreed so much that they ended their partnership.  They went their separate ways.

Yet, here is Mark with Paul years later.  What happened?  I don’t know all of the details, but one word had to have happened.

Reconciliation.

Somewhere along the way, Paul and Mark reconciled.  We don’t know if Paul and Barnabas did, but I hope so.  We do know that Mark became one of Paul’s fellow workers.  In the end, what the Gospel is about was lived out in Paul’s and Mark’s life.  They reconciled their differences.  Forgiveness happened.  Work ensued.

The other thing I noticed was the list in general.  Epaphras.  Mark.  Aristarchus.  Demas.  Luke.  These guys were part of what these days we call a tribe.  They joined together with Paul.  He invested in them.  He poured himself into them.  He nurtured them in the faith.

This is just a small list of people who were part of Paul’s tribe.  Read his letters and you will find others.  What we see is that Paul, the super apostle, was not in it by himself.  He wasn’t off flying solo.  He had a team.  He had a group.  He had helpers.  Another way to put it is like this.

Community

No matter what we are involved in, we can’t do it all by ourselves.  We have to have help.  That’s why it’s important to be connected to the Body of Christ.  We each have our role and purpose.  Without the others, we can’t function.

Are these all of the lessons that we can learn from Paul or his letter to Philemon?  Hardly.  But reconciliation and community will go a long way.

Reconciliation and Community.  Two great lessons we learn from Paul.

Do you need to reconcile with anyone in the Body of Christ?  Do you have a community of fellow believers to help you with your relationship with the Lord?

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  1. March 9, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I love it. God doesn’t want lone ranger Christians. We need each other.

    • March 9, 2012 at 5:32 am

      Exactly Stephen. Even the Lone Ranger wasn’t alone. He had Tonto. BTW, I just saw the first pic from The Lone Ranger movie. Johnny Depp is one crazy looking Tonto.

  2. March 9, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I’m leaving the house early this morning to get together with my friend, Dave. Our breakfast meeting will be this type of community for sure.

  3. March 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Over 6 months ago I had a man attack me verbally at a restaurant in front of the 3 other leaders. He was not, and is not, a leader. He was however a very influential (so he thought) with tons of money and a failed attempt at having a big building built. His project would have put the church under a $$$ load that would have choked us. Neither I, nor the other leaders, were for it, but he decided to strike out at me. He even called for my resignation. That didn’t happen then nor has it since (although he did make another attempt). To make it worse, the people would not have bought it, and possibly in 2 years there will be a sewer project that will allow us to get off the septic. (We were going to have to build a new one at the cost of $123k. Yeah, I see God’s timing. I also see a sad little man who cannot enjoy our plan for renovation. I truly have no animosity and would like to reconcile but he will have nothing to do with me. So I leave that in God’s hands.

    • March 9, 2012 at 8:25 am

      That’s sad, Bill. Maybe God will move in his heart.

  4. March 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    It is true that Paul had a “posse” the kids like to say (or am I a bit out of touch?) IT also states that Jesus sent his disciples in teams of two to preach the Gospel. Fellowship is very important in the New Testament.

    • March 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Yes, I think we could call Paul’s friends a posse.

  1. March 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

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