PHILEMON Sermons by Rev. Mike Jones [Revised February 2, 2019]
INTRODUCTION – One of only 5 books in the Bible with only 1 chapter (Obadiah, II John, III John, Jude and Philemon). This is a personal letter from Paul the Apostle who was in jail to Philemon of Colosse concerning the runaway slave Onesimus. It shows us some great lessons about 3 different people.
I. PHILEMON – the effective witness 1 7
A. He Communicated what God had done for him vs. 6
1. People see our Faith- Rom. 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Heb. 11:2 For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good report (And there follows the “Faith Hall of Fame”). I Thess 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to Godward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything.
2. People see our Lives- 1 Pet 3:15 16 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
B. His Household had a testimony
1. Wife was beloved and Son was a Minister (Col 4:17)
2. His House was used for a Church- (Food for thought – How many more souls would have been saved if we’d have spent the millions we spent in Buildings in Missions. Pastors could meet in “Community Homes” each night to deal with smaller groups and possibly win lost family members to the Lord) PEOPLE KNEW HE WAS A CHRISTIAN AT HOME!
C. He was a Joy to other Christians vs 7 He showed Love and a desire to help other Christians. (What do your fellow Saints think of you???)
II. ONESIMUS – The Saved Slave 8 16
A. From a Slave to a Son vs 10 (We were bound by Satan (Ep 2:2) and had to obey him (Jn 8:44) but when we received the Lord Jesus we received Power to become Sons of God (Jn 1:12). The Prodigal Son thought his Father was too restrictive but he found that Sin made him a slave and the Father made him a Son!!) Note that this made this Slave a “Brother” to his Master. vs 16
B. A “Free” Slave set free by a “Bound” Freeman. Paul was in Prison but somehow he came in contact with Onesimus and showed him that true freedom is not found in running away but in coming to Christ. NOTE – God’s overruling Plan. Onesimus wouldn’t listen to his Master’s Witness but God had another witness farther down the road. (Parents take Heart!!)
C. He still had Obligations! – He was doing good where he was but he had to go home and get things straight (take up cross).
1. He was now bound by Love as well as Law
2. The “Unprofitable” one had become “Profitable” vs 11 (Christians ought to make the very best workers. They live right and their work is “Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart’
3. He had to go back and “face the music”. (REPENTANCE INVOLVES RESTITUTION!!! (Ep 6:6)). “Clean out the store room” of old debts and right past wrongs.
III. PAUL – the Debt Payer 17 25
A. Receive him as me vs 17 (Not I but Christ) Paul – The Peace Maker who brought the offender and the offended together
B. Anything he owes I’ll pay vs 18 19 (Christ died to pay our sin debt)
C. Prepare for me for I’m coming to see you vs 22 (Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!!)
CONCLUSION: We, like Onesimus, have stolen time, money, and talents from our Master and have tried to run away. In God’s great mercy he sent this Love Slave Preacher to tell you that you can find Pardon, Payment and Peace in Christ. The Wages of Sin are Death by the Gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 6:23).
One of only 5 books in the Bible with one Chapter (Obadiah, II John, III John, Jude, and Philemon). This is a personal letter from Paul the Apostle who was in jail to Philemon of Colosse concerning the runaway slave Onesimus.
Paul begins this letter by complimenting Philemon on some of the fine qualities in his life. One of these was his ability as an Effective Witness. This is a goal that every Christian desires. Let’s see what these qualities were and then translate them into our life.
PHILEMON WAS AN EFFECTIVE WITNESS Because:
A) He Communicated what God had done for him vs 6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus (Phile 1:6). There are numerous ways to communicate God’s Blessings in our life:
1. People see our Faith at work in our lives. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world (Rom 1:8).
For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good report (Heb 11:2).
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing (1 Th 1:8).
2. People see our testimony in our changed personality- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mat 5:16).
3. People hear our words of Thankfulness about God’s Blessings. You effectively communicate when you acknowledge the good things which are in you as a result of your relationship to Christ. This is what being a Witness is all about.
Do people know you as a complainer or a Witness??
B> His household had a Testimony vs 2
1. Wife was beloved and Son was a Minister (Col 4:17)
2. His House was used for a Church. His Christianity was not a “show” at work, it was translated into actions at home. That’s the acid test of your testimony- Preacher and Deacons were not to be accepted if they didn’t have a Testimony with their family (I Tim 3).
C> He was a Joy to other Christians vs 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother (Phile 1:7). Philemon showed his love to fellow Christians in such a way that it brought joy and comfort to fellow saints and “Picked up” everyone’s spirit– By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35)>
An Effective Witness is one that has something good to say about what God has done for him, lives his Christianity at home, and “meshes” with other Christians. It is not a “Canned” presentation we give from duty but a Christlike life we live all the time. Are you that kind of Witness??