Confidence is a funny thing, especially in our time. Everyone one around us seems to be confident. It’s almost as if we’re taught from birth that confidence is next to godliness. Don’t you think so? Even if you’ve got no idea how to do something you better look like you’ve got it all together. Rather than asking for help our motto seems to be, “Fake it till you make it!” The strange thing about this is that confidence is a good thing, but the wicked thing about this is that most people (most of us) are confident for all the wrong reasons. We’re confident because of our abilities, because of our social status or reputation, because of our level of physical fitness, because of our looks, because of our bank account, because of where we came from, because we got out of where we came from, because of the car we drive, the home we live in, the job we work, and on and on and on. Some of you are even confident of how confident you are. Confidence is a funny thing.
What makes our modern abundance of confidence seem even more ridiculous is that Paul’s confidence at the end of his letter to Philemon is diametrically opposed to everything I’ve just said. You see, Paul’s confidence is robustly God-centered and self-reducing whereas the confidence of common man is robustly self-centered and God-reducing. Paul’s confidence here in Philemon doesn’t come from anything in Paul, or anything in Philemon. Rather his confidence comes from God, specifically – the work of God’s grace in the hearts of His people. We’ll see this today in three different ways, so for the 4th and final time I invite you to open your Bibles to Paul’s letter to Philemon. We’ve looked into this letter for 3 weeks now and today as we finish walking through Philemon we’ll focus our attention on Paul’s closing remarks in v21-25.