In verses 4-7 Paul draws attention to Philemon’s love for all the saints. “I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints”(1:5). I noticed he started out with encouragement before he sent out his appeal.
In verses 8-16 Paul gives he appeal to Philemon to receive Onesimus like he would receive Paul as a fellow brother in Christ not as a slave as Onesimus once was to Philemon. Paul says that Philemon’s relationship can no longer be the usual master-slave relationship. “[You have him back] no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother” (1:16).
In verses 17-22 Philemon’s obedience is encouraged. Not only is he to receive Onesimus but he is to put anything he owes to Philemon on Paul’s account. He was also instructed to prepare a guest room for Paul
As God encourages me he also appeals to me to live differently with fellow believers. I am to bring them lovingly into the fold and offer forgiveness.
Lord please help me to have the love and faith spoken of Philemon. Allow me to receive others with love and see them as one who is forgiven and to be obedient to You , the one that calls them a child of God.
Posted on Fri, June 19, 2015
by joel king