Text: Philemon

Introduction: (vv. 1-3)

  • Verse 1 – Philemon is authored by Paul during his imprisonment (see verse 9).
  • verses 1-2 – to Philemon and family, but in verse 2 we can see that their church gathered not in a building, nor a parish church, but in a home—at Philemon’s home. The church is not the building; “church in your house” – propositional “in” pertains that there was a church inside his house. Clearly, only people can be inside a house, hence the church is the people who gather for Christ (identity).
  • v. 3 – common greeting in the time of Paul where he presented Christ as equal to God the Father who is the source of both grace and peace—charis and Eirini (shalom).

Main Idea: Part I: Identity, Community, and Mission (vv. 4-7)

v. 4 to 7: there is a massive decline in today’s generation, comparatively, in the United Kingdom around 2/3 of Gen Zers, and over a third in the US, indicated that they have ‘no religion’ also known as being in the ‘unchurched’ religious category. Some classify themselves as an agnostic, loose atheist, pragmatics, and so on. Why? Because we do not offer identity, community, and mission.

  • Identity – v5, love and the faith they have toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Community – v6, “sharing” is koinonia – of food? No! it is sharing of faith. This communal sharing offers a deeper awareness and experience of the blessings that Christ has for us.
  • Mission – v7, the mission to provide joy, comfort, and love to the body of saints—the local church, so that we give others an avenue to be refreshed, healed, and renewed.

Meaning, that if our gathering or your individual lifestyle always centers on yourself, then you are failing to exemplify the love that Christ has for us (our identity), by sharing for fellowship in the body of Christ (community) and towards giving benefit to the entire community of Christ (mission).

Part 2: The Gospel in Philemon (vv. 8-20).

  • Share the story about Philemon and Onesimus (a worker, and slave).
  • “very heart” v12 – goes with Onesimus
  • He became useful, even though he was useless to you in the past (because of stealing)
  • vv15-16, no longer a bondservant of man, but of Christ – Slave here, in Paul’s argument, presents that they are on equal footing in Christ’s sake.
  • vv17–19 (we believe that the Bible is God’s Words, let us read these next verses in a canonical lens as the logos of God) as if it is Christ speaking to God the Father on behalf of us:
    • If we are one (partner is koinonia), you will receive him. (John 17)
    • If he has wronged you, charged that to my account. (1 John 2:2)
    • I will repay all what he or she owes to you (1 John 1:7)
    • Be refreshed—a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).

Final Words:

Verse 21-22- shows the confidence of Paul that “if” Philemon is a genuine Christian, he would forgive, reconcile, and brings forth the healing both grounded in the love of Christ.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
June 27, 2022



Text: 1 John 1:3-6

To be a Christian is to have koinonia with God.

I. Koinonia with Christ

Communion with Christ and Union in Christ (Galatians 2:20).

II. Koinonia with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Disregarding the guidance and leading of the Spirit and even not listening to it causes its grieving. Equally, complaining against the truth and having a corrupt judgment is not godly. Another serious manifestation of this is despising the prayer duty and not participating in sacraments.

When the Spirit is grieved, the believer’s soul is restless, being punished—as it is just to do so—and losing the sense of joy and comfort in one’s life. Christians experience dullness in life, easily tempted, feeling of brokenness, feeling of being left behind, ingratitude, indwelling sin becomes more active, contempt, and bitterness. More results are being poor in spirit, easy to stumble, dead faith, dissatisfied, does not see Christ in his life, insensitive, living without peace, and lazy in pursuing holiness, even experiencing being spiritually bruised and discouraged.

III. Koinonia with the Local Church (Community)

When we partake in the Lord’s Supper, we declare ourselves as One body, One mind, One Assembly—meaning One Church. (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)

  • with the church (one church_; I love you that’s why I need to tell you the truth, you cannot serve two masters, you cannot be in two places at once, you cannot commit your heart to two persons. Only one local church.
  • You become a critic, not a church participant, consumer, customer service not satisfied with the service (Heb 13:17)
  • fellowship, sharing one another (Heb 10:24-25), and going to church have now become an option by attending online; but we must go beyond just attending.


As a church, our goal is to be a living expression of koinonia. Let us determine our actions whether it creates confusion, division, or encourage, support, and nourish one another.


Live Sunday Worship (May 15, 2022)



Text: 2 John 4-12

Presence: Fullness of Joy (Full Sermon Manuscript)



The letter was written by Apostle John; wherein during that time, was the only living apostle. It was written for a specific church in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). There are two things that the letter emphasizes: first, he was commending them about their walk with God—or Christian living; second, he was warning them about the false teachers. These false teachers were teaching that Christ is just a special prophet and not divine.

Main Idea:

The concept of the Fullness of Joy was also stated in 2 John 12 “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” Ever since the Early Church, there were already practicing a hybrid style of ministering to churches. However, it does not suffice the biblical idea of complete joy or the fullness of joy. Presence is vital in church life; a Hybrid setting is ought to be supplemental not an alternative nor a substitute for corporate worship.

Ministry of Presence

Jesus Christ embodies this promise of eternal presence. His name, “Immanuel” means God With Us. And through the Holy Spirit, Christ’s presence is being continued as God indwells in our hearts. Just the thought of knowing that someone is there for you, present, willing to listen, and sojourn on the road of life brings complete joy to our hearts. This is the same thought of the ministry of presence. Just being “present” is already a ministry.

Communal Presence

Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected on his time during the holocaust; he wrote, “He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.” Both Apostle John and Bonhoeffer were trying to say that ‘You don’t get the church you want, but you get the church you need.’


Albert Mohler notes, “No believer can do this alone. Faithfulness is always wrought in the community of the church, a family committed to the gospel, to one another, and to walking in the truth together. The community of Christ is a rich means of persevering grace.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
March 27, 2022


This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.