Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Pastor Rick Kabrick
VS 8-11, Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
VS 12-14, I am sending him.
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.
But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.
VS 15-19, Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord. So, if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back not to mention that you owe me your very self.
Vs 20-15, I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
The issue with the LORD is it is not capability but it is availability with GOD.
We are always on duty to be ready to provide an answer for the faith we have.
GOD is and weaving the tapestry that is your life right now.
First Paul introduces Onesimus to Christ and second, he teaches him to stop running.
Unbelievers need to stop running and come to their ultimate master.
Believers who are living outside of HIS plan for their life need to stop running and return to their master.
Both Paul and Onesimus were convinced that the right thing to do was
for the slave to return to his master, making right the earlier wrongs.
So once Onesimus became a believer he was of great value to Paul and Paul was sure he would be of great value to Philemon, and more importantly to Christ as well.
The Greek word dulos is used and translated as servant in the KJV, the NKJV and others.
The NASB and others translate dulos as slave. The word dulos is from a root word which is the Greek verb deh oh which means to be bound to someone.
EXO 21:16, He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.
Slavery during O.T. times was not what we commonly recognize as slavery, such as that practiced in the 17th century Americas, and Europe when Africans were captured and forcibly brought to work on plantations and other places.
Heaven is able to orchestrate human events while honoring man’s freedom of
Choice. And that is a mystery that no person can fathom.
There is an interesting church tradition found in the Bible and other documents that Onesimus went on to become a leader in the Church at Ephesus!
In the year 45 A.D., King Herod is persecuting the church. He is persecuting the church because he wants the cooperation of the powerful Jewish religious elites.
ACT 12:7-10, Behold, an angel of the LORD stood by him and a light shone in the prison.
And the angel struck Peter on the side and raised him up saying, Arise quickly, and his chains fell off his hands. And then the angel said to him, Gird yourself and tie on your sandals. And so he did. And he said to him, Put on your garment, your outer cloak and follow me. So he went out and followed him when they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
ACT 13:11“And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and
you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
ACT 13:13, Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pam phylia; but John (this is John Mark) left them and returned to Jerusalem.
Mark was a deserter. He deserted. Paul reminds Barnabas, he was a weak-
hearted soldier, he fled in the middle of battle, he had no stomach for the conflict.
Mark demonstrated a lack of courage, a lack of trust in God, a lack of strength, or fortitude.
2TI 4: 9-10, Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world. He having loved this present world has left for the sights and sounds of Thessalonica.
Only Luke is with me.
And then he says this: Get Mark, please, Timothy, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
The Bible is full of restoration, that is what the message is, we have a GOD that is all about restoring us to HIM. So much so that HE gave HIS only SON so that we can be with HIM forever.
Think about this, if anyone could teach anyone lessons about desertion and restoration, it would be Peter, wouldn’t it
He could get lost, but he couldn’t hide from the One who was seeking his soul.
So Onesimus and Mark are together, useful in serving Paul. One a runaway missionary; the other a runaway slave.
Good news for all of us, right? You have no idea what GOD may be planning for your life and what is already unfolding if you’re faithful to HIM.
1TI :13, I was before a blasphemer, injurious, a persecutor of the church, but God showed me mercy; and now I am what I am by the grace of God.