Philemon

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“I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me” (Philemon 10-11 NKJV).

October 29, 2017

Paul wrote a personal letter to Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave, Onesimus, who may have also stolen from his master (v.18). Under Roman law, a slave was property and could be executed for such. Yet, Paul, who wrote from a Roman prison, had led Onesimus to faith in Christ and now called him a “son.” He sent the letter to let Philemon know of this and also that he was sending Onesimus home to him. Paul pled with Philemon, who he had also led to faith (v.19), to accept Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as a “beloved brother” (v.16). This is the new way of Christ on exhibit, that master and slave would become as brothers. This is the grace of Christ that brings forgiveness and reconciliation to every relationship. Surely, Onesimus would have been fearful of returning to Philemon, but Paul knew it was the only way that he could be truly free.

“I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 1:6)

October 29, 2013

There is a connection between sharing our faith with others and our own spiritual understanding. Answering the questions of faith for a seeker or new believer reminds us of what we believe. Often they ask a question we can’t answer and so we search more diligently than we would even for ourselves in order to help them. Sharing your faith causes it to increase in you!