Question 203

By: Robert Serreyn

Question? Why did God Have Paul write Philemon?


The Book of Philemon is about a servant named Onesimus.

(Philemon 1:10) I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds.

(Philemon 1:16) Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

Onesimus had robbed his master and then ran away to try to avoid being caught for the deed, but was caught and was placed in the same prision with the Apostle Paul.

(Philemon 1:18) If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.

The account GIVEN of Onesimus is applied this way:

The Apostle Paul REPRESENTS the Lord Jesus Christ, for he PAYS THE DEBT (sin) that Onesimus owes.

(Philemon 1:18) – Oweth thee ought, Put that on mine account.

Just as The Apostle Paul WILLINGLY Paid what Onesimus owed, The Lord Jesus Christ WILLINGLY Paid Our Sin Debt.

(1 Peter 2:24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

(Hebrews 12:2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Onesimus REPRESENTS You and Me the sinner WHO has DEBTS (sins) which we CANNOT PAY by our own Human Merits, Religious Deeds, Good Works, etc, etc, etc…

(Titus 3:5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

(Ephesians 2:8,9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

AFTER Onesimus BELIEVED the Gospel – Acts 16:31 (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ), the Apostle Paul tells Onesimus Master to RECIEVE HIM as a FELLOW BELIEVER.

(Philemon 1:5,6,10 – 13) Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; (6) That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (10) I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds. (11) Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me. (12) Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels. (13) Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel.

Unprofitable = Lost, Unsaved – Profitable = Saved

NOTE: Onesimus was Paul’s Son in the Faith, Just like if you lead a person to Christ for salvation, that person BECOMES a Son or Daughter to you IN THE FAITH.

The Apostle Paul in V13 WOULD HAVE liked to kept Onesimus with him to HELP PREACH THE GOSPEL to others (he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel), but Paul KNEW that Onesimus NEEDED to be back in the rightful service of his Master.

Just like the Apostle Paul TOLD Onesimus Master to RECIEVE HIM, The Lord Jesus TELLS God the Father to RECIEVE US when we BELIEVE ON HIM because we are now HIS CHILD in the faith.

(John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

(1 John 2:1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know IS Jesus Christ as savior, just simply believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and DIED and shed his blood, was BURIED and three days later RESURRECTED from the dead to pay for your sins.

-Christ DIED for you – Romans 5:8

-Christ PAID your sins in full – 2 Corinthians 5:21,1 Peter 2:24

-BELIEVE (Trust In Completely) in Christ ALONE as the complete payment of sin for salvation – John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8,9

“For the wages(payment) of sin is death (eternal torment in hell); but the GIFT(salvation) of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 6:23