Summary: This passage details handling forgiveness via Philemon’s situation with his runaway slave.

Forgiving the Debt

Philemon 1-25; Matthew 6:12

I. The Character of Philemon (v. 1-7)

a. Love and faith toward Christ and His church (v. 1-2, 5)

b. An encourager (v. 7)

c. A witness (v. 6)

II. The Character of Onesimus (useful) (v. 10-18)

a. Before salvation

i. Apathetic worker (v. 11)

ii. Thief (v. 18)

iii. Doomed for Death—Spiritual and Physical (Roman Law)

b. After salvation

i. Useful as a servant(v. 11)

ii. Useful as a partner in ministry (v. 13-16)

III. Forgiveness Still Requested (v. 8-22)

a. Duty calls for it (v. 8-9, 19; Matthew 6:14-15, 18:21-22; Luke 17:3)

b. Love produces it (v. 14-17; Luke 7:47)

c. Unity results from it (v. 20-22; Ephesians 4:1-3)

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