Understanding Brotherly Love


Increasing in Brotherly Love

Book of Philemon

We think of the Apostle Paul as a great Christian, if not the greatest Christian who has ever lived, but it is a fact that this man named Philemon was counted as a great Christian by the Apostle Paul!

Philemon was a Christian, probably led to the Lord by the Apostle Paul.

Philemon was probably a native of Colossae and he had started a church in his own house.

Philemon was a respected member of society but he also held a prominent place in the Christian community.

No doubt that Philemon held some office in the church, some say he even became bishop of Colossae and was murdered by Nero but there is not much proof of this.

It is certain that Philemon would provide for any of the saints as they passed through this city!

It seems that Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave at one time and it is in his behalf that the Apostle Paul wrote this epistle.

This epistle that can teach us of how Christians should handle some of the things from our past and uphold our integrity before other Christians and even more so before those who are lost.

We must remember if you call yourself Christian, you place a target upon your back for this lost world to shoot their fiery darts!

It is probable that the Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this epistle and it maybe that Paul wrote this epistle with his own hands because it was a personal plea from one Christian to another Christian.

*****Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
Phm 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
Phm 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul was a prisoner at this time in Rome, where he wrote or at least dictated may of his epistles.

Paul was a prisoner to Nero on the outside but Paul was a prisoner of Jesus Christ on the inside!

We can see that Timothy had joined Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

To be a Christian is to be a prisoner of Jesus Christ because He purchased us from the slave market of Sin!

In our own way, we should all resemble Philemon and be fellow-laborers with the Apostle Paul in the cause of Jesus Christ!

Paul may have never been to Colossae but Paul knew this family very well.

Apphia was the wife of Philemon.

Archippus was the son of Philemon and was saved and working in his own ministry.

Most all Christians of that day gathered in the home of the Pastor and Philemon had begun a church in his own home.

And of course, all things still come by the “Grace”, the unmerited favor of God through the Lord Jesus Christ!

We can be sure that the Apostle Paul had his own prayer list and he also tried to keep up with the happenings of every church that was planted and was surviving at this time.

Not one Christian is of more importance than any other but we all have our prayer list just as the Apostle Paul.

*****Phm 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
Phm 1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
Phm 1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

If we have a personal relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus, and are filled with His Holy Spirit, then we can also say, “I thank my God”.

If we have none of these things then we are only thanking the devil who is laughing at you all the time!

We must realize that there is a God and we must get up close and personal with Him, and that can only be accomplished by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your “personal” Savior!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

We should always pray for those who are called into the ministry and for those who have needs that only God can fill!

Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

There can be no doubt that even when Paul was imprisoned, he did his very best to keep up with all the churches that had been planted and he had heard nothing but good news from the church in the home of Philemon.

It should be clear to us that if you are a child of God, then you are also a saint of God and this happened as soon as the Holy Spirit moved in!

Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, “called to be saints”: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The child of God, “born again” of Jesus Christ, does not need some committee, or the Pope, the laying on of hands, or any man to decide if they are a saint of God!

Philemon had a testimony so strong that even the Apostle Paul thanked God for fulfilling the purpose God had for him!

Our greatest purpose in the work of God is to communicate our faith to others! (we are all in this together)

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Do you want to humble yourself? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “am I walking worthy of the Lord?”

According to the Apostle Paul, remember who is led by the Holy Spirit to say all these words, Philemon was doing this thing!

Philemon walked worthy of the Lord after his salvation!

In other words, Philemon understood what the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us all to do!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We use that phrase “servants of the Lord” but we must clearly understand our servitude to the Lord is being a servant to one another!

We are to be good “stewards” of the “Grace” of God!

When we face the Lord at the “judgment seat of Christ” we will see that the Lord has considered how we have accomplished these things!

All the “gifts” of God are to be shared with our brothers and sisters and our share of God’s “grace” shown to whosoever will listen!

We are always to be “refreshing” when we come together with fellow our brothers and sisters in Christ!

*****Phm 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

The truth is we can never know how far an act of love may travel!

Many of those in Colossae had witnessed the ministry of Philemon and these acts of kindness had traveled across the Sea to Rome and refreshed the spirit of the Apostle Paul who was bound in prison.

We as Christians can also be refreshed when we hear the good works of other Christians from far off places.

I love to hear the good news of our missionaries when they report the good things Christ has accomplished!

Another man once wrote:

We learn about Christ, by giving to others.
We receive from Christ, by sharing with others.
By emptying ourselves, we can be filled with Christ.
The poorer we make ourselves in giving, the richer we are in the gifts of Christ.
To be charitable, is to know more of the wealth of Christ.

Those that know the most of Christ, are not the Bible scholars, but those who move in generosity among mankind especially amongst the saints of God!

We are servants to the Lord by serving others especially to the Church, the Body of Christ!

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We should be able to rejoice when we see blessings given to other children of God!

We should rejoice when we hear the good news of that missionary we support.

We must especially rejoice for each lost soul that comes to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

If Heaven rejoices for every saved soul, then why would we not join in?

Rejoicing is a sign that our “faith” was real.
Rejoicing is a sign that our prayers are answered.
Rejoicing is a sign that God is fulfilling the promises He has made!

The Apostle Paul could rejoice knowing that even while he was bound, the Word of God could not be bound!

We must rejoice because we are all brothers and sister in Christ, who are all doing “one work” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

So now Onesimus.

*****Phm 1:8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
Phm 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Phm 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Onesimus, whose name means “useful”, had at one time been a slave in the house of Philemon, maybe before Philemon had come to know the Lord himself.

He had escaped and without a doubt had also robbed Philemon and had ended up in Rome.

We know that God works in mysterious ways and God had directed Onesimus to cross the path of the Apostle Paul.

Paul is saying that as a man, he had no business getting involved in the workings of a slave and his master but as one Christian to another Christian by Jesus Christ , who is all our Master and as an Apostle called of the Lord, he did have the authority of the Lord in such matters.

Paul is saying even with this authority, it was best to honor Christian friendship as brothers with the same Lord!

We should never make demands of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Paul laid all these things out before he made his request to Philemon.

We cannot demand that other Christians do the same as we would do. We can try to keep each other on the right path of Jesus Christ!

Notice how gently and humbly Paul approaches his brother in Christ.

The greatest truth of each Christian is that once the Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us of our sins, how can we as Christians continue to condemn one another? Christ never condemned anyone that loved Him. Those that reject the love of God condemn themselves!

Who are we to question the work of the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is for love’s sake that we deal with one another!

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

It seems that we forget that as Christians we are never to tear down one another but rather to build up!

Onesimus was a slave not only to Philemon but in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the law, he had no rights at all!

The slave once escaped did not even have the right of asylum.

Until his death, Onesimus would always be a slave!

An escaped slave, in his despair would normally flee to a friend of his master, not to hide, but to seek intercession on his behalf.

Every slave needed an intercessor! (Sounds familiar)

We were all slaves to sin and separated from our God with no means within ourselves to make things right so we needed an Intercessor and that Intercessor is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Isa 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

There was no one upon this earth who could intercede on behalf of us so the Lord God came Himself, “his arm brought salvation to him”!

The Lord Jesus Christ had been the Intercessor for Onesimus to return him to the good “Grace” of God and the Apostle Paul would intercede for Onesimus between him and Philemon.

The slave of Philemon was now a profitable servant for the Lord and for the Apostle Paul.

Onesimus had not only delivered this epistle named Philemon but he had also assisted Tychicus in delivering the epistle to the Colossians.

Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

We know that all the epistles were read in every church but Paul first sent this epistle to Philemon.

It was the Apostle Paul who had led Onesimus to the Lord even while Paul was imprisoned in Rome!

Another name for Onesimus was “profitable”!

*****Phm 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

I think it is important to mention that slavery was never introduced by the Jews. Slavery already existed in the world of that day and God, through Moses had laws regulating its existence and its evils and restricting its duration.

It should also be important to know that slavery in America was never introduced by Americans.

It was the Afro people who introduce slavery to America, capturing and selling them own selves!

Slavery still runs rampant throughout this world. The most valuable source in this evil world is not drugs but human trafficking!

Nowhere in the Scriptures does God endorse slavery. In fact, stealing a human being to make them a slave was a capital crime for any Jew!

Deu 24:7 If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.

This law was not only for the Jew but for the Gentile:

Exo 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Anyone that was treated as a servant had to be paid and treated humanely!

Lev 25:39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
Lev 25:40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile:
Lev 25:41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.

In fact, any person who had sold themselves into servanthood for a price could redeem themselves or they could be redeemed by family or friends which was encouraged by the Word of God,

When we study these things out in God’s Word, we find that the Lord Jesus is in “type” our “Redeemer” who purchased us all from the slave market of sin!

Obviously, the Gentile laws about slaves, differed from the Word of God, but God still expects everyone who places their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be obedient to all laws but first placing the Word of God as the supreme law of their life even if it conflicts with man’s law!

Now back to Onesimus.

In the Gentile nations (God said heathens) there may have been value in a slave because they were purchased but there was no profit in them.

They served till they died or became useless. A slave in bondage did not ever increase in value! The only value was the work that they performed and that decreased as they aged.

Onesimus had escaped and fled from his bondage and had even robbed Philemon of something of some small value.

As Onesimus had fled to Rome, God placed the Apostle Paul in his path and Onesimus called on the Lord Jesus Christ, was washed in the blood of Jesus and was saved and restored to God.

Now could he be restored to Philemon?

There is no Christian who is hopeless and every Christian has great value in the eyes of God and that value increases as we get busy in the work of God!

Mat_6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat_6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

A Christian who begins to be good to himself will then good for others!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Onesimus was “born again” and a changed man!

Jesus Christ changes lives. Jesus takes a good for nothing sinner and makes them useful.

Jesus Christ takes a nothing and makes a something, just as in the act of creating our world when He made our world out of nothingness!

Onesimus had wronged Philemon and it was important to make things right with Him!

*****Phm 1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
Phm 1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
Phm 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Onesimus had traveled with Tychicus who carried the epistle to the Colossians but also the epistle to Philemon, not because Onesimus would not have delivered this epistle but because Tychicus could be another witness to the conversion of Onesimus.

It is said that Tychicus also carried the epistle to Ephesians at this same time. Tychicus was not a Colossian himself.

Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Paul sent Onesimus to be at the mercy of his offended master.

Philemon, without consent of the law could treat his slave as he pleased and he held the power of life and death in his own hands.

That’s what we all do when we bow our knees and repent before the Lord, who also has the power of life and death of us all but He also holds the power of eternal life and eternal death.

A slave who robbed his master and then fled from his master was sentenced to death and we already know the wages of sin is death!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

These are some of the things that make the epistle of Philemon such a great book of the Bible.

Onesimus had become very dear to the Apostle Paul, just as we have to our Father in Heaven toward His spiritual children!

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Onesimus would have been a great help to Paul while he was imprisoned but Paul deemed it more important for him to return to Philemon who he had wronged.

Paul said of himself “Paul the aged” and with his bad health it was certain that he needed some help and Paul knew that if Philemon had been in Rome, he would have gladly stayed with Paul and been his help and so stated.

We can just imagine the Holy Ghost working on Paul as even in prison, he was more in bonds to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ and in his own way, was spreading the Word of God to the far reaches of the world in the only way that was available to him at that time.

The words of Paul by the Holy Spirit added to all the other Scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit were the hope of Israel but more important the hope of the entire world!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Just as Paul’s purpose was to bring the “Gospel” to the Gentiles, before Onesimus could go further in his own ministry it was his duty to return to Philemon.

In a sense Onesimus needed the permission of Philemon before he could be of service to the Apostle Paul and at the same time Paul was not asking for his return.

This was not a test for Philemon! This was a chance to show his willingness to show his goodness as a Christian.

For Philemon to get a blessing from the Lord, he could not show the appearance of restraining Onesimus as a slave but as a willing brother in Christ to share the work of the Lord.

It is important for us to restrain from all appearance of any evil doings!

1Th_5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Paul, it should appear that Onesimus was a brother who had departed for a period and had come back home.

We all know the importance of the parable of the “Prodigal Son”!

We were all prodigals before we met Jesus Christ! Onesimus was no different!

These are the thoughts that Paul was teaching to Philemon and more important to all Christians everywhere!

*****Phm 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
Phm 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

One of the greatest problems of Christianity is “forgiveness”. We seem to have very little problem accepting the stranger who we know nothing about their past but we struggle sometimes to forgive those, who God has forgiven but we know a lot about their sinful past.

In this sense, we are just hypocrites.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

When God has forgiven someone, then who are we to say we will not forgive them!

We also know we should be able to see the truth of them by their works!

We cannot work our way into Heaven but we are to be obedient to the Lord after we are saved and promote the “Gospel” in every way we can.

It is these works after salvation that works toward our perfection!

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

We may think we can have a good relationship with just about anyone but in truth there should no relationship that can be as close as that one between brothers and sisters in Christ!

Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Two people that know and have accepted the Word of God as the inerrant truth, can certainly agree on most everything and develop a good relationship and it should be or “it must” be the same for the entire Christian community.

This is where God’s people have failed the most today!

Everyone wants to interpret the Word of God in their own fashion and ignore what God has really said! It is what God has said that is the truth not those who twist the Word of God into something false!

Onesimus was prepared to accept whatever relationship Philemon offered and Paul was pleading on behalf of Onesimus that his relationship with the Lord would bring about a renewed personal relationship.

Two people with a personal relationship with the Lord should have no problem having a personal relationship with each other!

After all, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is pleading with God and who intercedes on our behalf so that we can have that personal relationship with our God, our Father in Heaven.

Why cannot we do the same for each other!

When we are in the Lord, we are to give our flesh to the Lord as His servant. Not a servant to Him, but a servant to the Church and to one another!

If Philemon counted the Apostle Paul as his partner in the “Gospel” then he should count Onesimus as a partner in the “Gospel” also!

*****Phm 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
Phm 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

Paul was an Apostle of the Lord with all the powers of an Apostle yet he never tried to abuse this power.

God has this simple rule for us all to follow in those who are called to be the Christian leaders.

Heb_13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

We are to follow them in “faith” while considering their conversation to see if it lines up with the Word of God!

If it truly lines up with the Word of God then we are to be obedient to those who have rule over us!

Caution: We are never to take the Word of God out of context! We must never allow this power to be abused in any way!

We must also remember once we have been forgiven we are wrong if we are not just as forgiving!

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Philemon certainly did not have to submit to the wishes of the Apostle Paul but in this case Paul was right and again God has given us a great example of the Christian life!

Then Paul said, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;”

There is no doubt that Onesimus had robbed his master and then run away and therefore he certainly had an unpaid debt.

Even we as Christians deserve the debt of our brothers and sisters or of anyone else to us, to be repaid!

God says thou shall not steal and these laws still hold true! We are never to take something that belongs to others!

Paul said he would assume any debt that Onesimus owed to Philemon.

The truth is we all had a debt we could not pay and the Lord Jesus Christ told our Father in Heaven, “just put that on My account”!

1Jn_4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jn_2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

We all faced the wrath of God and by the death of Jesus Christ, “in our place”, we that believe have been reconciled to God!

Rom_5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Paul was saying to Philemon, we as Christians all have this same ministry toward one another.

2Co_5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

If Paul could not live what He preached, then none of His epistles could be accepted as the truth.

If is the same with Christ Jesus, if He did not fulfill all the prophecies of the Old Testament and walk in innocence upon this earth, then the Bible would be only an old history book.

If it was the same for Paul and the same for our Lord we can be sure it is the same for us all!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

These are simple things that cost us blessings with the Lord but they ruin our testimony as Christians.

To be Christian is to be like Christ and making Him our Lord!

Joh_13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

If Christ is our Lord then we need to obey the things He has told us to do! (Simple as that)

Luk_6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Again, we should understand the outcome of Onesimus was in the hands of Philemon according to the laws of the land at that time regarding slaves.

Paul dearly wanted to Philemon to make the Christian decision, as the Lord has already justified both Onesimus and Philemon and their sins blotted out in Heaven!

*****Phm 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
Phm 1:20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
Phm 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

As far as Paul was concerned this epistle to Philemon was also an “IOU”!

Paul made sure his signature appeared on this document as proof of his intent to repay Philemon for his losses.

Paul wrote to Philemon with ink.

The Lord Jesus Christ wrote to His Father in Heaven with His Own Blood!

Act_20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The truth is, in the Colossae of that day, no one in that day would want to be caught with a lawless slave and yet Paul said this is my partner.

The greatest truth in this epistle besides our debt to Christ is, just how much do we owe that person that led us to the Lord!

Another thing Paul was saying that the “born again” man who had returned to Philemon would now not only be profitable to Philemon but also profitable to the Lord!

In truth Onesimus was so much better a slave when he returned to Philemon and he was of so much greater value, that , a debt could be said to be owed to the Apostle Paul.

Again, a true born-again Christian who is now in harmony with our Father in Heaven is of such a great value that the Father may owe a debt to the His Son, Jesus.

Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Heb_1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

And the Father will allow the Church to share in that inheritance and in the glory of Christ!

Heb_9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

If there is one thing we lack today besides “faith” then it would be “confidence” in our brothers and sisters to do the right thing every time!

If there is one thing that each new child of God needs, it is to be received by his brothers and sisters in Christ!

We must also understand that Paul was not accusing Philemon of anything. Paul was trying his best to show his confidence in Philemon and that he would do the right thing.

We must all hope for the best outcome as each child of God goes through the burdens of the world but a brother or sister in Christ should never be one of those burdens.

We are not to think bad about our Church family without true biblical evidence!

A godly love will always cause the right actions!

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

As we can see the Apostle Paul had much more love for each child of God than we can imagine.

It was important to Paul that each child of God do their best to show the love of God in everything they did!

It is important for us to know that no one is excluded from the “Grace” of God, except those who exclude themselves!

No one is excluded from the glory world except those who exclude themselves!

The Lord God Almighty is standing with arms open to receive all those who call upon His name and only those who reject the Word of God will miss His embrace as of a loving Father!

And Paul begins to close:

*****Phm 1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

We know that without “faith” we cannot please God.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We already know that the Apostle Paul accepted the will of God and moved to wherever the Holy Ghost moved him. Paul had his own plans changed many times, the Macedonian call being the most well-known.

Here the Apostle Paul was showing Philemon his “faith” in answered prayer.

If by prayer Paul was released from prison, he would have loved to come to Colossae just to see the good works of Onesimus!

God had other plans!

In fact, Paul had a great desire to visit all his friends one more time before his death.

Some say after this imprisonment Paul spent some time in Greece, Spain, and Asia Minor before returning to Rome and to his death.

Some say Paul was never liberated and was just put to death in Rome.

Paul realized his time was short before his Roman trip even began!

Act 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

It was in Rome where we hear the last words from Luke.

It is the Book of 2 Timothy that we hear the last of Luke, who kept us informed of the travels of the Apostle Paul. We can just imagine the health of the Apostle Paul by the fact the Luke, also a physician, traveled with him.

2Ti 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
2Ti 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

And Paul closes this epistle to his dear friend.

*****Phm 1:23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
Phm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
Phm 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Epaphras not imprisoned in Rome but still a fellowprisoner in Christ.

It is Epaphras who is believed to be the missionary who had planted the church in Colossae.

This Marcus is the probably the same Mark that was sent home by Paul and the means of the dispute between Paul and Barnabas.

We know this because it was Peter who had led this Marcus to the Lord at a young age, probably a teenage.

1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Aristarchus had been traveling with Paul since his time in Thessalonica.

Demas with Paul now, at this time is the same Demas who had forsaken Paul.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

If the Book of Philemon was written after 2 Timothy then it appears that Demas has been restored, there is no way of actually knowing.

This Lucas is the same as Luke the physician, who wrote the Books of Acts and the Book of Luke and possibly was the writer who wrote down the words of Paul for the Book of Hebrews,

Without the “Grace” of God, supplied through the Lord Jesus Christ, and powered by the Holy Spirit, then there could be no Church!

The true Church consists of those who assemble to worship Jehovah God, who have accepted His Dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and are now in the power of the Holy Spirit.

All others are just fakes!

Amen.

Let’s Pray!

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