Summary: We must reflect the Grace of God in our lives.
Grace To Live By
Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 2And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 3Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; 6That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. 8Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 9Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16Not 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? 17If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19I 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. 20Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. 22But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
23There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 24Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
25The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. [KJV]
Here is a picture for the plea of all mankind- for freedom, respect, forgiveness- in short a plea for merciful GRACE.
We often use the word GRACE, but we don’t often realize its meaning. We say that we are saved by GRACE, but we often don’t even think of its implications.
If I was to ask, "where does Grace come from?" how would you answer?
Some would say that it comes from God, others would say it is expressed in Salvation.
However here in Philemon, Paul asks Philemon for a Graceful reception of Onesimus.
You see, we too can be expressive of Grace.
If we are to be Christlike, should we not show the characteristic of Grace through in our lives? We say we need to love, pray, witness, live righteous, read God’s word, BUT all of this is void if we miss out on the Grace of God being made manifest in our lives. For without Grace, we have prejudices that will hinder our Christlikeness.
Let’s see the characteristics of Grace in the Bible
1. A Grace to get started on. (FREEDOM)
For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. [NLT]
Freedom cannot be substituted in this life!
Paul was not only asking for Onesimus’ freedom, but for his quality of life.
We too can hold others in bondage- grudges, hatred, prejudices, insincere Christianity, etc.
This must be broken to give life to the offended
2. A Grace to grow on. (FEEDING)
The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grace is the fuel for your Salvation AND Sanctification
God’s love presses through our imperfections to find us exactly where we are.
This is for Christians and for those who would be saved.- Through this type of Grace, we are able to learn from our mistakes and grow into a full life with Christ.
Often we lack this type of Grace in our personal relationships. This is where our lives begin to become irrelevent to the ministry. We come to find our minds in a constant state of judging and condemning others for not being just like us. That is when we propably need Grace ourselves.