Philemon 15,16

Philemon 15,16

For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
Philemon 15, 16

The Apostle Paul is asking his friend Philemon to forgive a runaway slave named Onesimus. The exact details are not given to us but it would seem Onesimus robbed his master Philemon and then ran away to Rome hoping to hide in the big city. In Rome, Onesimus meets Paul, who is currently being held as a prisoner, and becomes Paul’s disciple. Paul then writes this letter to his friend Philemon and instructs his new disciple Onesimus to carry the letter home to his Master and ask for forgiveness. The letter contains five reasons for Philemon to forgive Onesimus.

In the verse above, this fifth plea is for forgiveness. Paul suggests that God is using Onesimus’ mistake, his sin of running away, for a greater purpose. Paul made a similar statement in Romans 8:28, “we know that all things work together for the good of them who love God…” Never forget that God is bigger than our mistakes. We must never sin assuming God will be lenient, that would be foolish (Romans 6:1). Rather when we sin, we must be quick to confess and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But once we have confessed and asked for forgiveness, we must be confident that God has forgiven us and can even use our mistakes for His glory. How like our God to have good plans for us, even when we are at our worst. Knowing this makes me want to love Him and obey Him all the more.

In awe of Him,

Pastor Rod Harris