Theme: Christ’s Servant Paul exemplifies gracious communication.
A. Paul’s letter overflows sincere & loving thankfulness for & to Philemon
B. Paul’s example here calls to us in two ways.
A. Jesus transformed a criminal into a beloved brother & son in Christ.
B. Paul’s description of Onesimus displays Christ’s transformation of Paul
A. Paul’s appeal displays how God wants any gift given or favor done: voluntarily.
B. Paul’s example is also illustrative.
Questions for Study:
Have you ever read Paul’s letter to Philemon before? What grabbed your attention & why?
From what you read in Philemon, how does knowing Christ affect human relationships?
According to our 21st Century sensibilities, does Paul seem forward and bold in his requests to Philemon?
With the exception of the “you owe me” section (v. 19), how does Paul’s boldness with Philemon model how God wants us to approach Him? See Hebrews 4:14, “Let us come boldly before the Throne of Grace…).
How does Paul’s intercession for runaway but repentant slave Onesimus illustrate Jesus’ our Great High Priest’s intercession for us? See especially v. 17b.