If you remember, The Apostle Paul is writing to a leader in the church named Philemon. His slave Onesimus stole from him and ran away. The Paul shared the gospel with Onesimus who then became a believer. Paul writes Philemon, asking him to accept Onesimus back as a brother, forgoing the punishment he deserved.
This book, though little, is big in gospel riches.
First, this passage reminds us that we have other Onesimi in our lives. In this book, Paul encourages Philemon to live out gospel love.
He reminds us that when we have been wronged or wounded, we need to extend the same forgiveness that we’ve received.
As he reminded Philemon, we’ve been forgiven for much more than the sins committed against us (v.19). When someone sins against us, it’s easy to want to hold a grudge. Paul reminds us here that Jesus has forgiven us for all our sins, past, present and future. Because we have been forgiven for so much, we need to also forgive others.
Secondly, this passage shows the gospel in action through Paul’s desire to take on Onesimus’ punishment. In verse eighteen, Paul says, “If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.”
Paul is acting as a redeemer and reminds us of our Savior, who bore our punishment for us.
Paul asks Philemon not to punish Onesimus for his crimes and to instead charge Paul himself. What a beautiful reminder of what Christ did for us!
All of our sin, forgiven. All of our punishment, placed on Jesus.
I pray that this often overlooked book of the Bible has inspired you to read it for yourself. Read it with gospel lenses, seeing and savoring all that Christ has done for you. May your heart be truly blessed by this reminder of how the gospel has changed your life and how it changes to way you pass on gospel love to others.
In this four week mini Bible Study you will examine your faith and what it means to have faith in God. When we believe in God we then learn to walk in faith and trust God. But first we must believe, and it’s up to us, we can either choose to believe in Him or not. But faith will mean nothing until we believe with all our heart that God is who He says He is.
5 STAR AMAZON REVIEW: “I really enjoyed this mini study. I like when things make you think and journal and you can focus on one aspect at a time. It was a great study.”