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Philemon

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Ben Lovelady

on 20 November 2017

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Transcript of Philemon

Restore a former slave into the service
of Christ.
The Point
Paul, Timothy, Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, house church, Onesimus, Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, and fellow workers
Personal, but Not Private
Reality Check: vs. 9
Paul's Appeal
"The epistle gives us a masterful and tender illustration of Christian love. For here we see hot St. Paul takes the part of poor Onesimus and, to the best of his ability, advocates his cause with his master. He acts exactly as if he were himself Onesimus, who had done wrong. yet he does this not with force or compulsion, as lay within his rights; but he empties himself of his rights in order to compel Philemon also to waive his rights. What Christ has done for us with God the Father, that St. Paul does also for Onesimus with Philemon. For Christ empties Himself of his rights (Phil. 2:7) and overcame the Father with love and humility, so that the Father had to put away his wrath and rights, and receive us into favor for the sake of Christ, who so earnestly advocates our cause and so heartily takes our part. For we are all Onesimus's if we believe."
Martin Luther
The Letter to Philemon:
A Portrait of Christ
Did Paul not see it as sinister?
Paul on Slavery
Philemon
"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many."
1 Corinthians 12:13-14 ESV
"I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and 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. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you."
Philemon 1:4-7 ESV
God Loves Cheerful Givers:
Only non-apostolic letter
appeal for love's sake (vs. 8)
own accord (vs. 14)
"child" (vs. 10)
from "useless" to "useful"
(vs. 11)
"hearts" to "heart" to "heart"
(vs. 7) (vs. 12) (vs. 20)
3 Coinciding Interests
(vss. 13 & 15-16 & 17)
Own hand...
(vs. 19-20)
Reminder of past grace...
(vss. 4-5)
Confidence in future grace...
(vs. 21, God)
Was Paul's conviction of Christ's soon return so strong that he wasn't concerned about altering social structures and practices?
Did Paul not see it as his place to stipulate believing masters to manumit slaves?
"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. ...Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God."
1 Corinthians 7:17, 21-24 ESV
"Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved."
1 Timothy 6:1-2 ESV
Full transcript