Friday, February 24, 2017

From Bond-Servant to Beloved Brother


Jesus' Account Transforms Believers from Bond-Servant to Beloved Brother.
Read Philemon 1-25

Redemption is a beautiful word.  The idea that someone would compensate for my defect is mind-blowing.  I often spend the majority of my day trying to cover up my defects.  I don't want anyone to see the piles of laundry left undone, the tumbleweeds of dog hair that are blowing on my wood floors, the stretch marks on the back of my arms, or the ________.  You see, the list could go on and on.

The truth of the matter is: I had a much greater defect than I even realized.  A defect that I was born with.  A defect that cannot be seen on the outside; an internal defect.  The defect was called sin and that sin kept me from Jesus.

Whenever Jesus laid down His life on the cross, He placed my sin defect on His account.  It is Jesus Christ who compensated for my defect. The moment I believed in Jesus I was transformed from bond-servant to beloved brother.

In Philemon we read about a man named Onesimus.  He was a bond-servant; a run-a-way.  He fled from Philemon's house and ended up in Rome.  He heard Paul preach (while in chains) about freedom in Christ Jesus.  Paul led Onesimus to Jesus and Onesimus ended up returning to Philemon's house as a beloved brother!  The redemptive story is beautiful.  It reminds me of my own story and prompts me to pray for your story.  If you've never moved from bond-servant to beloved brother:  please, please, contact me.  I would love to tell you how Jesus will compensate for your defect.

PAUL SENDS ONESIMUS BACK TO PHILEMON AS A BELOVED BROTHER

Paul, a prisoner for Christ, thanks God for Philemon and prays that He'll have an effective ministry
Vs 1-2 Paul, a prisoner for Christ.  Timothy, Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, the Church in Philemon's house.
Vs 3 Grace + Peace
Vs 4-5 Paul thanks God for Philemon's love and faith to the saints
Vs 6 Paul prays that Philemon's faith would be effective for Christ
Vs 7 Philemon provides Paul: joy, comfort, love, fellowship, and refreshment
  • Who's ministry has brought you: Joy, Comfort, Love, Fellowship, or Refreshment?
  • How can you encourage that person to continue to be effective in their ministry? 

Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon as a beloved bother who's debts are paid in full!
Vs 8-11 The purpose of the letter is to send Onesimus, Paul's spiritual child, back to Philemon
Vs 12-14 Paul is sending back his heart! Paul preferred to keep Onesimus with him
Vs 15-16 Onesimus will not be a bond-servant but beloved brother, in the flesh and in the Lord
Vs 17 Paul asks Philemon to receive Onesimus as he would Paul
Vs 18-20 If Onesimus owes Philemon anything, charge it to Paul - who will repay
  • Have your debts been paid in full?
  • Write a letter to Jesus expressing your gratitude for your position as Beloved Brother.
  • Is there someone, from your past, that you need to reconcile with?

Paul is confident that Philemon will do more than Paul expects of Him
Vs 21 Paul is confident that Philemon will do more than he asked
Vs 22 Prepare room for Paul's return
Vs 23 Paul sent greetings from fellow workers in Jesus Christ
  • How can you stop being stingy with Jesus and do more than you have been asked?

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