Philemon: When Sin Happens.

Posted on Posted in The Bible

The Story of Philemon. 

1) Onesimus sinned against Philemon. 

8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you (Philemon) to do what is required (FORGIVENESS), yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you… for my child, Onesimus…

2) Jesus saved Onesimus.

Who’s father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.

3) Philemon must forgive Onesimus

15 “For this is perhaps why he was parted for while, that you might have him back forever as a beloved brother.”

4) Paul invested himself in their reconciliation. 

17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.

The Bigger Story of the Gospel. 

1) We were Onesimus, rebelling against our Master in heaven.

2) Similar to Paul, Jesus Christ paid our debts so we could be reconciled back to God.

3) Like Onesimus returning to Philemon, we get to return to God who forgives us in Christ.

The Story of Everyday Life. 

Practically, what do you do when you find yourself in the shoes of one of these three men?

1) Wearing Philemon’s shoes. 

Someone has wronged you and now they are seeking your forgiveness.

  • Step 1 – Remember your own rebellion.
  • Step 2 – Remember God’s forgiveness.
  • Step 3 – Forgive, as you have been forgiven.

2) Wearing Onesimus’ shoes.

You have sinned against someone.

  • Step 1 – Go and confess your sin.
  • Step 2 – Ask for forgiveness.
  • Step 3 – Change.

3) Wearing Paul’s shoes.

You see others who need to be reconciled to one another.

  • Step 1 – Compel them to do what the gospel commands: be reconciled.
  • Step 2 – Invest yourself in their reconciliation.
  • Step 3 – Suffer loss for the sake of their gain.

(Image used from http://imgarcade.com/1/philemon-bible/)