Influential Forgiveness 2
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Philemon 1:4-7 ESV)
Forgiveness means to carry, to take up, to pardon, and to be lenient. It also means to make amends, to be merciful, to put away a hurt. Finally, it means to show favor, to send away a grievance and to disregard the same.
How is a person who forgives an influence for God and for good? Or to put it another way in light of a conversation I had with someone last week, “Why should I forgive?” According to Philemon 4-5a, a forgiving person displays their love for God.
Secondly, Philemon 5b says a fforgiving person displays their faith in God. Vs. 5b. The Apostle Paul was not only thankful for Philemon’s love from God but also his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Philemon possessed a consistent commitment, trust, dependence and worship of Jesus Christ. This love and faith was not only directed towards the Lord Jesus, but also manifested itself towards “all the saints.” Those who were holy and dedicated unto the Lord.
In light of this present truth, Paul prayed for the events which would transpire in Philemon’s future. “And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”
Paul anticipated that Philemon’s faith would be effective in the full and complete understanding of what it means to forgive. Full knowledge means and thorough and complete understanding of how forgiveness should shape and form the believer’s life.
A person can read a book about fishing, sailing, skiing, or even whitewater rafting, but reading about it never compares to actually experiencing it. We can read about forgiveness, or hear sermons about it. However, until we actually extend it and receive it, we will never know what it means to experience the full knowledge of it.
This ultimately is done for the purpose of bringing God glory.