This post is Day 12 in a series of studies about “Philemon”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Philemon – Day 12
At the beginning of these verses we see a description of this new convert; his very heart. Onesimus must have used his experience as a slave to serve Paul in any way he could. Paul was blessed and impressed and was trying to persuade Philemon to accept the new Onesimus.
I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.
If we take this verse backwards, Paul reminds Philemon of his own situation, where he is, in prison, and why he is there. He is there because he has been bold for Christ and His gospel. After his dramatic conversion (Acts 9), on the Damascus road, Paul had given his entire life to spreading the truth of who Jesus was, and still is and what He has done for those of us who live on the earth.
That boldness led to several imprisonments and the opportunities to speak before several leaders. It seems that Paul was the same with everybody he met. Paul saw each person as a candidate for the Kingdom of God. His intention was to share the truth of the risen Christ with them. Whether rich or poor, slave or free, beggar or ruling monarch.
At the beginning of today’s verses we see Paul’s description of this new convert; his very heart. Onesimus must have used his experience as a slave to serve Paul in any way he could. Paul was blessed and impressed and was trying to persuade Philemon to accept the “new” Onesimus.
Think today about “slavery”. It has many manifestations, and can be easily misunderstood.
In 2 Peter 2:19 we read people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.
Read that chapter of 2 Peter 2 today and feel Peter’s frustration and anger because of the false teachers in the world so soon after Jesus had started his church!
Ask yourself if you are a “slave” to anything?
Maybe your job, your bank account, your computer or telephone. We can be slaves to certain food or drinks, as well as to people. We can be slaves to false doctrines, or we can be slaves for Jesus.
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