Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Sermons

Summary: The book of Philemon is about love, specifically about grace and forgiveness founded in love. God’s love can overcome the past.

  Study Tools

A look at Onesimus

Philemon

Paul is in prison

This is the first time that Paul was imprisoned at Rome (Acts 27 & 28). We believe that he was released from this prison sentence and worked for another four years or so before he was imprisoned in Rome again and executed.

The letter is written to a church leader in Colosse named Philemon (v.2). You can learn a lot more about this church by reading Colossians to see what kind of issues Paul addresses. We learn more about Philemon’s companions by comparing the names mentioned in Colossians which was delivered to that church at the same time.

Philemon is a man of demonstrated love, kindness, hospitality and generosity. We can tell this by reading verses 5, 7 and 20 - 22.

I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, 11who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.

12I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart, 13whom I wished to keep with me, so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.

15For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. 18But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well). 20Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say. (NASB)

The book of Philemon is about love, specifically about grace and forgiveness founded in love. Let’s look at the love theme by doing a fly-by of the book look closely at the following verses:

Verse Love Theme

1 Brother, Beloved, Fellow laborer

2 Beloved, Fellow Soldier

5 love

6 fellowship

7 love, hearts

9 Love

10 Child, begotten

12 heart

13 ministered

14 consent

16 brother, beloved

17 partner, accept

20 benefit, heart

23 fellow prisoner

24 fellow workers

All this surrounds a man named Onesimus. We learn from this book that Onesimus came to Paul in prison, he was converted and sent back by Paul.

Onesimus as we know him

10

• Onesimus is in need of mediation

• He is a new Christian

11

• He has a questionable past (18)

• He is a changed man

• He is entering a tense situation

16 & 17

• He is a slave

God can overcome the past

12 & 13

• He is close to Paul

• He has demonstrated a genuine change

14

• He is in the power of another (16)

15

• God’s hand is on his destiny

• He needs reconciliation with Philemon

16 & 17

• His relationship to his owner has undergone a radical transformation that Philemon has not yet recognized.


Browse All Media

Related Media


Cleanse Me 2
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Grace Never Ends
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion