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Introduction to Philemon & Philemon (vv. 1-25) Study/Psalm 59 (60) Study/Give The Lord our Hearts...

The Introduction to the Book of Philemon


AUTHOR: St. Paul … Paul often used an assistant to whom he dictated his letters – (Romans 16:22; 1Corinthians 16:21; Galatians 6:11; Colossians 4:18; 2Thessalonians 3:17), but he wrote Philemon with his own hand – (v. 19) …


DATE: AD 61-63 … Philemon was written at the same time as the Colossians, most likely from Rome during his first captivity by the Romans


MAJOR THEME: NO LONGER SALVES, WE ARE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST …


BACKGROUND: Philemon – (GREEK … “affectionate”) had been converted by Paul – (v. 19) and was a member of the church in Colosse – (Colossians 4:9) … Onesimus – (GREEK … “useful”) had been an salve of Philemon, for he had run away, providing for his needs from the stolen treasury of his master- an offense punishable by death … Somehow Onesimus reached Paul, who brought him to Christ … he then became “useful” to Paul … Also, according to Roman law, Onesimus still belonged to Philemon … So, Paul sent Onesimus back to Colosse with thus letter under the care of Tychicus, who was also carrying the letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians … Paul urges Philemon to receive Onesimus with forgiveness as a brother in the Lord, and hints that he would not be displeased if Philemon released Onesimus from bondage to free him for the service to Paul … According to ancient tradition, Philemon was consecrated bishop of Colosse and later he was martyred … Onesimus may be the same Onesimus whom Ignatius mentions as bishop of Ephesus, forty-years after this incident …


PHILEMON STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN

GREETING & COMMENDATION OF PHILEMON – (Philemon vv. 1-7) …


GREETING


1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, 2 to [a]the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


COMMENDATION OF PHILEMON


4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in [b]you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we [c]have great [d]joy and [e]consolation in your love, because the [f]hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.


NOTES


1: It is not known whether PHILEMON was yet ordained as a presbyter/bishop; he is recognized for his kindness, hospitality, and gracious spirit …

1-7: PAUL’S APOSTOLIC SPIRIT is manifest in his affection, benevolence, and regular intercessions for his fellow laborers …

5: LOVE AND FAITH go together … As true faith includes works, so true faith includes love … We cannot believe in God without loving others …

6: FAITH unites a person not only in Christ but to all who are in Him – including those who have greatly wronged us, as Onesimus had wronged Philemon …


The Plea for Onesimus – (Philemon vv. 8-22)


8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— 10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, 11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.

12 I am sending him [g]back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own [h]heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.

15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.

21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.

Farewell

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.


NOTES


8-9: PAUL APPEALS not to his own apostolic authority – (v. 8; see also 2 Corinthians) … Instead, he appeals to his age, to his being A PRISONER OF JESUS CHRIST – (v. 9) – for whom we should be quick to do all that we can, and to Philemon’s Christian conscience – (see v. 14) …

10: PAUL became Onesimus’s spiritual father by convincing him of the truth of Christ – (see also 1Corinthians 4:15; Galatians 4:19) …

11-13: PAUL sees to it that Onesimus fulfills his legal responsibilities by returning him to his master, concerns about the justice of slavery notwithstanding …

14-17: WHILE THE MASTER-SLAVE RELATIONSHIP CONTINUES, it is transcended by brotherhood in Christ …

18: ONESIMUS STOLE from or otherwise wronged Philemon when he ran away … PUT THAT ON MY ACCOUNT is reminiscent of how Christ has taken away our sins that we might go free – (2Corinthians 5:21; & 2Corinthians 8:9) …

19: PAUL had also brought Philemon to Christ …

21: PERHAPS PAUL hopes Philemon will not only receive Onesimus with forgiveness, but also free him and return him to Paul …


PSALM 59 (60) STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN


NOTES


PSALM 59 (60) Is also concerning Christ – (THE END, v. 1) … For the Church remembers the changes – (THINGS YET TO BE CHANGED, v. 1) brought about by the cross – (A SIGN, v. 6), and the teaching – (FOR TEACHING, v. 1) it brings to the Church … For the Incarnation brought about the mystery hidden before time, namely, that Christ would burn down – (HE BURNED, v. 1) the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile – (vv. 1-14), and form them into one body – (EPHESIANS 3) … Verse 6 is the inspiration for many Orthodox hymns concerning the cross of Christ …


CLOSING …


PROVERBS 23:26 OR 25 depending on your version …

Proverbs 23: 25 or v. 26

My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways …


Another good closing to another good lesson like I always state daily give the Lord your Heart, ponder His ways and He will do the rest … I know this to be true one day I gave the Lord my heart and the next thing I knew He had me on a straight and level path… I now understand my calling and I’m here to witness 3 things, (1): GOD’S Word’s are in fact true, pure and full of love … (2): TO TEACH sinners HIS ways so they can turn back to Him … (3): LASTLY it’s to shun evil and do nothing but good in the name of Christ working daily to be that example even in my shortcomings …


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