“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Communicating is the imparting of thoughts, opinions, or information to another person. Communicating is giving our thoughts or opinions in such a manner that the person listening or reading understands what we are saying. The impact of this devotional will be determined by how well I communicate the thoughts that the Holy Spirit gave me. Communicating is literally transferring my thoughts and information to you in an understandable manner.
The Christian faith means nothing to the world unless we communicate it to them. Paul said to Philemon in the verse above, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual…” The faith of an individual will never make an impact on others unless that faith is communicated to them in an understandable manner through the individual’s life or conversations. Philemon had a great faith, but his faith wouldn’t have been effectual unless he communicated it through his life. Several things are revealed in this letter from Paul to Philemon that shows the Christian how to communicate their faith so that it is effectual.
First, the communication of your faith is seen in your love towards others. Verse 5 says, “Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;” Philemon’s faith was effectual because he communicated it by loving others. You will never have a faith that impacts others until you have a Christ-like love towards others. The Christ-like love that loves people in their worst condition is what makes the Christian faith so different. Christ didn’t love us at our best state, but He loved us when we were at our worst; this is the type of love you must emulate if you want your faith to be effectual. How you love an individual when they are unlovable is what makes an effectual faith.
Second, the communication of your faith is seen in your joy. Verse 7 talks about the “great joy” they had because of Philemon’s love. A Christian who is always in a bad mood will never make an impact on others. Let me ask you, do you have a spirit of joy at the workplace or at home? People will never want what another person has if they have no joy. What will make your faith effectual is when you still have a spirit of joy even when you are going through difficult times. The world doesn’t understand how a Christian can still be joyful in these times. It is at these moments when you can tell people that the source of your joy is the salvation given to you by the LORD Jesus Christ.
Third, the communication of your faith is seen in your ability to forgive. The theme of the Book of Philemon is forgiveness. What better way to communicate your faith than to forgive? It was Jesus’ spirit of forgiveness on the cross that made such an impact on the world. Your ability to forgive will determine how effectual your faith will be to others. If you cannot forgive, you cannot communicate your faith to others.
Christian, how well are you communicating your faith? Is there a communication breakdown in your faith because one of these three things are not a part of your life? Love, joy and forgiveness must be a part of your character if you want your faith to be communicated properly to the world. These three things is what makes your faith understandable and effectual.