A Letter of Restoration
David A. Cawston
1:17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
Philemon was probably the pastor of the Church
The Church met in his home.
Apphia was probably his wife.
Archippus was probably helping them pastor the church that met in their house for he is mentioned as a minister in the church in Colosse.
Onesimus was his slave!
The letter to Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians and Philemon were written during the years of AD61-63.
All of these will be known as the Prison Epistles. During this time Paul was under house arrest.
Before coming to Rome and being converted by Paul, Onesimus had been a slave of a Christian named Philemon. Onesimus (whose name means "useful") had run away from Philemon and had evidently taken some money or property belonging to his master.
Paul now writes to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus and asks that Philemon accept Onesimus back as a brother in Christ.
The letter is an insightful study in personal relationships among Christians in the first century church.
This letter is a picture of redemption and restoration!
It parallels what Christ had done for us.
We were wicked people
We were enslaved in Prison
Christ Came to us.
Ministered to us.
Saw us as useful.
Asked that we would be accepted as a brother not a slave.
Offered to pay for our restoration.
I. Establishment of Brotherhood
4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
It is important that we realize that we are Brother in Christ. This is more bonding ...
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