Philemon – Revealing Our Forgiveness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle to Philemon is written with great heart, care, and concern to Philemon, because Paul is asking him to forgive and take back into his home the former servant Onesimus who had run away and caused some expense and grief to Philemon.

The Scriptures do not explain what Onesimus had done or how he ended up being with the Apostle Paul who was then in prison at Rome, yet our God seems to have a way of bringing people into our lives whom we can help with His healing Word.

Philemon lived in Colossea (the same area that the Epistle of Colossians was written, in Asia Minor), and Paul expresses with endearing and intimate words of encouragement for Philemon not only to forgive, but to take his servant back as a faithful brother in Christ. Onesimus hand-delivered the Epistle to Philemon, which shows us that Onesimus had lost whatever gave him the fear to leave in the first place, for he was returning endeared to Paul.

Often Christians can receive their own forgiveness and begin walking with God themselves, yet when it comes to forgiving other people who have wronged them in one way or another, allowing the mind freely to offer the hand of friendship may be difficult.

The Epistle of Philemon is one of my personal favorites in the Bible, and especially verse 21, which we will quote in this Byte. In Philemon we can see the love of Christ working in the life of Paul as he reaches out to Philemon with great passion that can only be fulfilled with a forgiving heart.

Philemon 10-21 (The Amplified Bible*):
-10: I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains.
-11: Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me.
-12: I am sending him back to you in his own person [and it is like sending] my very heart.
-13: I would have chosen to keep him with me, in order that he might minister to my needs in your stead during my imprisonment for the Gospel’s sake.
-14: But it has been my wish to do nothing about it without first consulting you and getting your consent, in order that your benevolence might not seem to be the result of compulsion or of pressure but might be voluntary [on your part].
-15: Perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated [from you] for a while, that you may have him back as yours forever.
-16: Not as a slave {servant} any longer but as [something] more than a slave {servant}, as a brother [Christian], especially dear to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer].
-17: If then you consider me a partner and a comrade in fellowship, welcome and receive him as you would [welcome and receive] me.
-18: And if he has done you any wrong in any way or owes anything [to you], charge that to my account.
-19: I, Paul, write it with my own hand, I promise to repay it [in full]– and that is to say nothing [of the fact] that you owe me your very self {his spiritual self, meaning that Paul showed him the way of salvation}!
-20: Yes, brother, let me have some profit from you in the Lord, Cheer and refresh my heart in Christ.
-21: I write to you [perfectly] confident of your obedient compliance, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

The greatest compliment that Paul or anyone could ever make to an endeared friend is to say “I know that you will do even more than I would ask” and know in your heart that it is true.

Paul had no greater joy than to have believers around him like Philemon, whom Paul could simply suggest an idea and it would be done.

Do we have this kind of heart when God’s Word encourages us to forgive ourselves and/or others?  This indeed would most definitely be a blessing to God, our Father, for by doing so, we reap tremendous benefits.

Onesimus was not simply returning to his former job, but he was coming home, Colossians 4:9 records, “Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.” Sometimes we may feel that we cannot return from where we came from because people will remember us the way we were before our salvation; however, this is not always the case.

Sometimes when our families, old friends, and acquaintances recognize the gentleness of Christ within, this may lead them to Christ (or back to Christ). Remember Jesus told one man “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19).

Once we accept Our Forgiveness in Christ (Ephesians 4:32), then we can offer forgiveness to others who may have wronged us in some way. Like Philemon who had a choice to make in forgiving his friend Onesimus, we can present the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus Christ to others, which really can free our lives from the burden of carrying around an unforgiving heart towards others. As we realize the Book of Philemon is Revealing Our Forgiveness, we will find it effortless to recognize the spiritual inner joy and thankfulness that God gives when calling us into His household and family with complete forgiveness.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Our Everlasting Permanency over Our Temporal Ephemerality (Mortality Shall Be Swallowed up of Life)

“Man’s present life lives onward only upon a temporal earth (II Corinthians 4:18), in a temporal body (II Corinthians 5:1), and within a temporal universe (Isaiah 34:4), that shall in a moment, melt away (II Peter 3:10-13), but before the fate of this world comes to its ultimate conclusion, God’s Word is offering a permanent earth (Revelation 21:1-4), body (Philippians 3:20-21), universe (Isaiah 65:17), and life (John 10:28). We have a promise of an escape, and a promise of a rewrite of our personal histories moving forward based on past truths, Knowing that he {God, Acts 4:10} which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you– II Corinthians 4:1), and so shall we ever be with the Lord– I Thessalonians 4:17.” ~LMJ~

Come One, Come All, and See what Is Available!

“God has called anybody who will simply believe, whether they are of Israel (Jews), or of the Gentiles (unbelievers), and because Jesus gave his life for everyone, anyone can be saved, and walk into the magnificence of all that God in Christ has made available. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance– II Peter 3:9.” ~LMJ~

The Church of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

God’s Church is made up of individual believers. The Scriptures in the Old Testament times referred to two basic classifications of people, the children of Israel and unbelievers. In the New Testament there is a third classification called the Church of God. Believers make up this new Church – those from Israel who believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior, and unbelievers (also called Gentiles) who would also believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior. In Ephesians chapter 2, God’s Word explains much about the new Church of God who are together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 – That at that time {before Christ} ye {the Gentiles} were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

In the Old Testament and throughout the Gospels the Gentiles were completely separated from the promises of God having no hope whatsoever. God’s calling was strictly to only Israel until Christ gave his life for all humanity (see Matthew 10:5 and Romans 15:8).

Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off {Gentiles} are made nigh {made united, close-family} by the blood of Christ.

Now in God’s grace the Gentiles are also called into God’s new Church and into God’s family. The Gentiles who would believe do not join into Israel but rather the Gentiles and those from the tribe of Israel who believe are joined together, which is the way God intended from the beginning.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
-14:  For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace, who hath made both one {the believers from the Gentiles and from Israel are now one in Christ}, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-15:  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself {in Christ} of twain {two} one new man, so making peace {between Gentiles and Israel, and between God and us}.

The middle wall was a wall within the temple in Jerusalem that separated Israel from the Gentiles. Israel was permitted to go past the wall of separation, further into the temple area than the Gentiles, and in doing so they would be closer to God Who would bless them. However, they did not allow the Gentiles in. Here in Ephesians the spiritual perspective of God’s Word places believers from both groups together in one, for we collectively now make up the true temple of God. Israel was commanded to present themselves at the temple, and so they would become closer to God, but today in grace there is no separation between believers (Christian believers) who accept the sacrifice of Christ for us. Even the Law of commandments have been abolished by Christ. God’s Word now offers to humanity a new and peaceful entrance to the actual throne of God’s grace for He certainly dwells within our hearts. Today we live under a new law, the law of love! The new Church includes those from either group who will simply believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Today all Christian believers are spiritual members of the Church of God irrespective of where we congregate, for God’s Church is one according to Ephesians.

A Case for Godliness

“I Timothy 4:8 records, For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Bodily exercise profiteth little means that it primarily benefits oneself, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Godliness is having a meaningful relationship with God as our heavenly Father.

Godliness is enjoying the renewed mind, being spiritually fit.

Godliness is learning how to be in Christ as an athlete of the spiritual realm.

Godliness is proving the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God- (Romans 12:2), which brings profit into a believer’s heart, a heart that can then reach out of themselves and help others with God’s Word.

Godliness is profitable, not only at any age in this life, but will be beneficial through all eternity. Everlasting rewards will be received by a life lived in godliness, and thus, I Timothy 6:6 expresses, godliness with contentment is great gain.” ~LMJ~