Wednesday, May 18, 2016

God Doesn’t Just Erase Our Problems

By Allen White 

Tychicus is only mentioned about five times in Scripture. He was one of Paul’s companions on the final missionary journey before Paul’s arrest and imprisonment (Acts 20:1-4). Tychicus was given an important mission. He was to deliver the letter to the church, and then deliver a second letter to Philemon along with a runaway slave, Onesimus.

The evil of slavery is hard to reconcile. Maybe it shouldn’t be. Onesimus had fled Colossae and ended up in Rome. Somehow he had met Paul and became a Christian (Philemon 1:10-12).

Now, what we understand from Scripture is that in God’s economy, all believers are equal: Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free (Galatians 3:28). Even though Onesimus was now a believer, and even though he was very useful to Paul (Philemon 1:13-14), Onesimus was under obligation to Philemon.

For those who think that becoming a Christian causes all of your problems to go away, they just need to take one look at Onesimus to see that there are no exemptions. His eternity was secure. His temporal situation was still the same.

Paul’s hope was that Philemon would regard Onesimus differently. Now, they were brothers in Christ. (Philemon 1:15-21). The other side is that Onesimus would prove to be more useful to Philemon than he was previously (Philemon 1:11).

Now that we have a little background, let’s read this passage again:

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.  Colossians 4:7-9

The outstanding feature of both men is that they were faithful. They were faithful to the cause of Christ. They were faithful to Paul.

Faithfulness reflects God’s character (1 Corinthians 1:9). In fact, it may only be possible through God’s work in our lives.

Who would call you faithful? Why might someone doubt your faithfulness? Our faithful God can do this work in our lives as we depend on His faithfulness to us.

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