Because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith towards the Lord Jesus.
Verse 5 begins with the word ´because´ and those who are familiar with English grammar know that the word ´because´ is a subordinating conjunction. The purpose of subordinating conjunction is to introduce clauses of cause and reason. This means that verse 5 cannot stand alone because it is qualifying what we have read in verse 4. In verse 5, Paul gives reasons why Philemon is special to him. What are these reasons?
First, it is Philemon´s faith in Jesus Christ. In this very short book with 25 verses the name Jesus is mentioned 6 times demonstrating the importance of Christ in the ministry of Paul. Philemon was important to Paul because he shares the same faith with him. Second, it is Timothy´s love for all the saints. The Greek word used for love is agape which means selfless love focused on others. It is sometimes defined as charitable love. The term ´saint´ in Paul´s usage refers to every person with true faith in Christ. This is unlike the popular contemporary usage where it refers to certain exceptional people who have been canonized by the church, particularly the Catholic Church. Philemon demonstrated complete love of loving God and the neighbor. Two takeaways: 1. Faith in God is supreme. 2. Faith in your neighbour completes a holistic faith.
Leave a Reply