Summary: The word Onesimus means "useful" and that is what we become when we are repaired, when we forgive, when we do not give up, and when we encounter the Gospel.
“Full of Use” Philemon vs 11
1. Duct tape is “full of use” consider the not so obvious uses of duct tape.
• In case your car overheats, and a hose is busted, duct tape is a temporary form of repair.
• Repair cracked windshield/window.
• For emergency tow and no rope – twist a long piece into a rope.
• Roll up some duct tape into a little roll half an inch in diameter. Cut it in half. Earplugs or nose plugs.
• Make a pouch and attach it to a door so you can hold stuff.
• Can be used to clean the floor when no vacuum is available
2. We are full of use once we are repaired
• My brother in-law worked on what seemed to be useless old vehicles rebuild from the frame up and make them the envy of car enthusiasts these cars sell for thousands of dollars 25-45 thousand
• There are Tv shows such as Counting Cars, Fast N Loud, Over’Haulin, Monster Garage. That take what appears to be useless automobiles and repair them and BOOM that are amazing rides.
• They are so full of Use after repaired I have seen bikes and car owners almost faint after restoration
3. In today’s text Philemon may have needed repaired so he could be “full of use” again
• We know Philemon was full of use he was a fellow worker of the Kingdom vs 1 says, “To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker”
• Philemon allows church in his home Wow! Dangerous remember the symbol of fish it was placed on doors in ancient time to let people know this home is Christian ich•thus [ˈikTHəs] Paul writes vs 2 “the church that meets in your home”: Paul also says 5because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
• Philemon was full of Use mainly because of Forgiveness he had to forgive Onesimus Onesimus was a slave who runaway and more than likely had stolen as well from Philemon Paul writes “ I appeal to you for my son Onesimus 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good-- 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back , I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. It is apparent
• Philemon had to forgive in order to be restored then he was full of use again
4. Paul may have needed repaired so he could be full of use . How can I be a missionary if I am in Prison? Paul writes at the beginning of the letter I Paul a prisoner of Christ Jesus
• Paul could have given up I am not a missionary I am in prison but it is here in prison in Rome Paul writes The prison epistles—Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon
• Paul was useful despite imprisonments, beaten 3 times, once stoned, 3 times ship wreaked, spent a night and day a drift in the sea.
5. Onesimus no doubt became Full of Use because He encountered the Gospel which repaired his life
• The story today shares with us Onesimus whose name means useful 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
• Paul says He is no longer a slave but a Brother he has been repaired and prepared now
• The Gospel called him, The gospel Convinced him, and The Gospel converted him
• Tradition tells us that Onesimus went on to be the Bishop of a church in Ephesus Ignatius, writing sometime around 110AD, refers to the bishop in Ephesus, Onesimus. Is this the same Onesimus? That certainly is possible.
6. IN conclusion Philemon was repaired and made full of use because of Forgiveness, Paul was repaired and made full of use despite oppositions, Onesimus was repaired and made full of use. Because he encountered the Gospel that called, convinced, and converted him.