Background — Setting: This epistle is the story of three main characters, Onesimus, Philemon and Paul and their interaction. Philemon appears to be a kind man, hospitable, and possibly wealthy. Onesimus was still the property of Philemon, and Paul wrote to smooth the way for his return to his master. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. So he mentions him with all the rest of the household who met there for worship, and so made up the church in the house. A generation crowded with writers whose theology abounded in mutual anathemas is yet redeemed from the charge of sterility which has produced such a theologian as Bengel.
In the next group of verses Paul deftly presents his lovely plea on behalf of thief-runaway but now converted Onesimus. Why did Paul call Onesimus his son? Paul is saying, if you love me, think of him as my friend, instead of your servant. In verse 19, Paul reminds Philemon of what? My child, whom I have begotten. In addition, it was Roman practice to set slaves free after a time, unless the slave had angered the master. Who could have the heart to resist such pleading? Explain that the names on the board are of people who had chains in their lives. Who was Paul's fellow prisoner? This letter is a personal appeal by the Apostle to Philemon, a fellow brother in Christ to forgive and restore Onesimus who had become very dear to him.
Nothing more genuine was ever written. Color Map - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. I am going to plead with you, and beseech it of you as a kindness and a favor. No permanent marriages were allowed among them, but only temporary unions, which could be broken at the will of the masters. In this case, Timothy may have encountered Philemon while accompanying Paul in his work in Ephesus.
Christian love and forgiveness are given prominence in the book of Philemon. Prayerfully study and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons. We shall sum up the theme of the Epistle as follows: the power of the gospel in the solution of social problems. The latter was more fortunate than some of his fellow-slaves in that he had for master a Christian, Philemon, a convert of Paul. The epistle to Philemon is a plea from the apostle Paul to receive his slave as a brother, as Christ had received Philemon. This is because of the information in the book concerning Onesimus who had comforted Paul while he was in prison Philemon 1:11. Paul is filled with joy, when he hears of the nice things Philemon is doing for the other saints who are in need.
If a letter were to come to you from some beloved minister, whom you knew to be lying in a dungeon and likely soon to die, you would be greatly touched if you noticed the traces of the rust of his fetters on the letter. It furnishes us some striking types of our salvation. Paul calls himself, prisoner of Jesus, perhaps to remind Philemon that he is a prisoner of Jesus, as well. The Spirit without the Bible leads to groundless fanaticism. By conversion, one sinner becomes son to Paul and brother to Philemon, his owner and master. See also - , , , , , and then be a doer of the Word with. Their lot, in general, was miserable.
Verse 17 If then thou countest me a partner, receive him as myself. Philemon Chapter 1 Questions 1. Perhaps, Onesimus had left with anger in his heart toward Philemon. Verse 22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted unto you. That he might minister unto me.
The Source of any good thing in us Philemon 1:6. Observe the gathering emphasis in his repetition of this word, how he strikes each time a louder note and a higher key. This personal letter reveals how the gospel radically transforms human, social relationships. Testify that the gospel is the great equalizer. We must diligently use the means, and if no other should be at hand, abound in prayer. Connections: Perhaps nowhere in the New Testament is the distinction between law and grace so beautifully portrayed. Faith and fellowship are at once made valuable and vindicated as they are active.
It also means, that Philemon was not taking the credit for the good things he did, but was giving the Lord Jesus all of the credit for his life. As Philemon would Receive Paul Himself Philemon 1:12, 17. Letter from Paul to Philemon about a runawary slave Philemon This book has only one chapter Text Comments 1 ¶ Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Keeper of Israel does not slumber nor sleep. Where will Paul stay in this area? Cursed by the Law, and bruised by the Fall, Grace hath redeemed us - once for all! He is saying, knowing that you are a caring man, so then I will ask you boldly as an apostle of Christ to do something that is not the usual thing to do. Paul wants to come back here, and prays that he will be able to.
Social Influence The book is unique for the social impact it has exercised. God has a Partner Philemon 1:17. It seems he is a very generous man when it comes to other's needs. But let us never forget we are not the only sufferers, for this is the common lot of all believers. It provides a unique practical illustration of Christian principle applied to social relationship.