The Passion Of One’s Friendship

Title: The Passion Of One's Friendship

Bible Book: Philemon 1 : 1-5

Author: Donald Cantrell

Subject: Friendship; Brothers in Christ; Fellowship of Believers



Philemon 1:1-5 (KJV), “ Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints.”

In this passage we see the importance of having good and godly Christian friends that we can depend upon in every situation. The apostle Paul heavily relied upon his Christian brothers and sisters to help him in the work. The preacher not only needed his friends, he had a pleasing passion for them.

1. The Majestic Beauty of his Friendships
a. Paul continually prayed for his friends
b. Paul passionately pulled for his friends
2. The Marvelous Benefits of his Friendships
a. The benefit of walking together
b. The benefit of working together

I. Philemon was a Favorite Friend

In a past encounter Paul had become good friends with this man called Philemon, he had actually won him to the Lord. The term dearly beloved depicts much affection for this man and his family. Philemon was a man with tremendous economical means and he graciously used it in the kingdom work for God.

A. Paul Publicly Recognized Philemon

Paul willingly acknowledged his relationship with this man, Philemon. The men had a good friendship but even more in that they were Christian brothers. In having a dear Christian brother we have so much more in common.

B. Paul Passionately Relished Philemon

The men had labored together in the trenches and Paul would never forget the tremendous service that Philemon had done and was still doing. It is a fact that those that work together day in and day out often form a close bond. Paul remembered all of their past work and how it had greatly benefitted his ministry. The reality of it is this, no man can do the work alone, and he must have good godly committed laborers that will stand and stay by him. Paul valued this friendship that he and Philemon had formed. It was much to be looked at and appreciated.

II. Philemon was a Faithful Friend

In his ministry Paul had often witnessed his so called friends forsake him and walk away for the work and the warfare. It could not be said of Philemon that he was a quitter. Philemon was a faithful workman and would stay beside his friend until the end, without thought or regard to turning back. It is a wonderful thing to see those that forge a bond that will last through thick or thin. If Paul needed money, he could count on Philemon. If Paul needed some physical labor to get the job done, he could rely upon this man Philemon.

A. The Men were Devoted Companions in the Work

It is satisfying when Gods man can work shoulder to shoulder with a devoted companion that will not waver or wander in or from the work. Paul was a committed man and had no regard for quitters, or the time. It would not be said of Philemon that he was not devoted or half-hearted.

B. The Men were Deeply Committed to the Work

The committed men will stay the course in spite of trials or trouble. The litmus test for this day and age is simple, are we deeply committed to the work. The question must be asked of this age, for it was asked and answered in the life of Paul and Philemon.

III. Philemon was a Flourishing Friend

Paul refused to selectively pick his friendships. Philemon was a man that God had allowed to flourish and this did not hinder Paul from forming a common bond with his wealthy Christian brother. We often find jealousy and hatred for those that God has richly blessed with wealth. In reality God can only bless certain people, because many of us would flounder or flee under economical blessings. It seems as though God cannot trust just anyone with money or success.

A. Paul was Prayerful of the Ministry of Philemon

The aging apostle here reveals that he is often praying for his dear beloved friend. I wonder how many of us could pray and ask God to richly bless our friends. It was an honor for Paul to pray for his dear friend. Paul realized that if Philemon was blessed, then his ministry could also be blessed, this is not selfish praying but strategic praying.

1. The Prayer was Continual

The prayers that Paul offered up were continual for his friend and his family. We must learn to be people of continual prayer. It is continual prayer that often moves God and sees rewarding results. It is easy to offer up a fleeting prayer every now and then, but a real prayer warrior will pray for his friends continually. God hears our prayers, so we should make much of praying.

2. The Prayer was Intentional

Paul made mention of Philemon on an intentional basis. I would hope that somewhere and somehow I would be on the mind of one of my dear friends. I would be a much better person if someone were to intentionally pray in my behalf. Is this not true, real, godly friendship, one that intentionally prayers for another.

B. Paul was Thankful of the Ministry of Philemon

The aging apostle was not just prayerful for his dear friend, but he was very thankful for the man Philemon. Paul had often heard of how things were going in the life of Philemon and he thanked God for blessing his dear friend. I find this to be a high mark in the life of any Christian, that they can thank God for blessing their friends. I know this is a simple saying, but is it really. How often have we thanked God for pouring out his blessings on one of our dearest friends?

1. True Friendship Abandons Jealousy

It would never be said that Paul was a jealous man, for he was not jealous in way. The beauty of a real person is that they can thank God on the behalf of their friends. Jealousy is a green eyed monster that often kills and destroys many a relationship. It was not so in the life of Paul, he thanked his God for allowing the life of Philemon to richly prosper and flourish. If we could abandon one thing that could harm our friendship with another, it should be jealousy.

2. True Friendship Appreciates Success

Paul looked at the ministry of Philemon and appreciated all that he was doing for the goodness of the kingdom. In reality if we are serving God we are all aiming for the same finish line. If God blesses one of our friends in the work of God we should rejoice and appreciate this blessing. If God can         bless them, he is no respecter of persons; he can surely bless me also.


We have examined the beautiful friendship of Paul and his friend Philemon. The ministry of Paul would not have been as productive without the help of this dear man of God. We need to look at our ministry and be thankful of those that have stood beside us in the work and the warfare, for if it were not for their faithfulness would we have floundered in the ministry?

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