by Stuart Briscoe

This content is part of a series.

NOTE: This sermon is part 1 and 2 of a 4 part sermon series. Two sermons outlines are included in this download.


Part 1: The Old Man in the Cell
Series: Philemon - Glimpses Of Early Church Life
Stuart Briscoe
Philemon 1:1-25

The letter to Philemon in which the Apostle Paul, now an old man, goes to bat for a young runaway slave, offers many charming and enlightening glimpses into life in the early church-glimpses intended to enrich our experience of contemporary church life.

I. Background to the Letter.
A. Paul, now approx. 60 years old, was in prison, either in Rome or Ephesus.

B. Onesimus was a runaway slave who had met Paul and been converted.
1. Runaway slaves were subject to harsh punishment, even death.

2. Harborers of runaways were subject to similar punishment.

3. Deuteronomic law was more lenient. Deuteronomy 23:15-16

C. Philemon, the owner of Onesimus is also a convert of Paul's.

D. Paul intercedes with Philemon on behalf of Onesimus.

E. The letter was preserved and incorporated into Scripture.

II. Glimpses of Paul the Old Man (presbutes). Titus 2:2


Part 2: The Gentleman in the Middle (2 of 4)
Series: Philemon - Glimpses Of Early Church Life
Stuart Briscoe
Philemon 1:1-7

Philemon, a highly regarded Christian gentleman, was being encouraged by his friend and spiritual father, Paul, to take a challenging and potentially controversial step of faith.

I. Philemon's Reputation: Well-earned and Widespread.

A. A reputation for being a man of faith and faithfulness. v. 5

B. A reputation for loving indiscriminately and unstintingly. v. 5
1. His love produced enjoyment and encouragement. v. 7

2. His love refreshed and renewed, calmed and comforted. v. 7

C. A reputation for going beyond the call of duty. v. 21

D. A reputation for effective praying and genuine hospitality. v. 22

II. Paul's Intercession: Thankful and Far-reaching.

A. Thankful for what he heard about Philemon's testimony. v. 4
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