Philemon 1:1-25, “Gospel Reconciliation”
Passage: Philemon 1:1–1:25
The situation in Colosse between Philemon and Onesimus is a beautiful representation of how the Gospel transforms not only our individual lives, but also our relationships with one another.
Great theme of Philemon:
1-The Gospel powerfully transforms lives
2-The Gospel should also powerfully transform our relationships
1. God can and does utterly change people.
After living a life on the run for his sins, Onesimus encounters Paul in a Roman prison and his life is utterly transformed. He goes from being a useless thief on the run to a useful ministry associate of Paul. This is a powerful snapshot in one life of how the Gospel can turn our pathetic lives into God glorifying representations of his grace.
2. God salvages situations that we see as hopeless.
Imagine how helpless Onesimus’ life seemed to his family and friends when he escaped and wronged Philemon. The situation from the outside looking in was hopeless, but God had a divine appointment for Onesimus in Rome via the prison cell of the Apostle Paul. The point is that God can and does work providentially through human sin and brokenness to bring about his sovereign will.
3. Reconciliation is at the heart of the Gospel—not just to God, but also to one another.
Simply put, it’s not enough for us to just get right with God in the private closets of our life. The grace and mercy of the cross call us out of isolation and bitterness and move us towards reconciliation with one another.