Thanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.
Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement.
What can a Christian judge? How is he to judge? What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge. So many questions and concerns.
Our fourth greek word related to judging is…
G1106 – γνώμη – gnōmē
judgment, mind, purpose, advice, will, agree
This word is found 9 times in 8 verses within the New Testament. A full listing of all verses may be found below for your self study. I will consider the verses that are not clear, that create questions in my mind, with the remaining verses left for the reader to ponder.
but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.
Let’s remember the authority structure between Paul and Philemon. Philemon was a Roman slave owner that Paul evangelized, brought into the church, and trained for a period of time. Onesimus, Philemon’s slave had run away, found Paul and got converted.
- Paul – the apostle to the Gentiles.
- Philemon – a lowly believer, who owes his salvation to Paul in a very real way
- Onesimus – a run away slave who actually is owned by Philemon
So why is Paul asking for consent from one which is lower on the authority? for one that is even lower in authority?
It kinda makes sense, based on some current religious structures, that Paul should “encourage” (a synonym in Christendom for “force”!) Philemon to do the right thing, and to release Onesimus. Maybe tell him that if he doesn’t, he will be in rebellion. Ya – that’s it. Use the rebellion card.
No – Paul the old man has realized the power of love, of serving others, of putting them first, of seeking agreement amongst brethren.
Paul even asks Philemon if he considers him a partner. What? How degrading, said the man who wants power!
Thanks for joining me in this study. Hope to visit with you in our next post as we continue to look at the Greek term γνώμη .
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.