The letter to Philemon - Part 1
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The letter to Philemon - Part 1 The letter to Philemon - Part 1 Presentation Transcript

  • The Letter to Philemon (2 Studies) Laindon Bible Study 10th November 2011
  • The whole letter on a slide “ The Book of Reconciliation” Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, Yet for loves sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 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? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.25 verses 445 words
  • A word frequency picturePrisoner v.1Prisoner v.9Fellowprisoner v.23 Fellowlabourer v.1 Fellowsoldier v.2 Fellowprisoner v.23 Fellowlabourers v.24 Our brother v.1 Thee, brother v.7 A brother v.16 Yea, brother v.20 An appeal to Brotherly love and fellowship... View slide
  • Overall parallel – Parable of the Prodigal SonLuke chapter 15 verses 11-3211 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. Andhe divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journeyinto a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land;and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields tofeed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came tohimself, he said, How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go tomy father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to becalled thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his fathersaw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned againstheaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him;and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son wasdead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came anddrew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said untohim, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28 And he was angry, and would notgo in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neithertransgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thyson was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever withme, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and waslost, and is found.Onesimus “my *Paul’s+ son” His life He “ministered Paul asked Philemon to(v.10) “departed for a season” changed unto me” “receive” back Onesimus(v.16), seemingly having direction [Paul], serving a with compassion (v.15) and“wronged” and ‘owing’ (v.18) (v.11) Roman citizen for there to be “joy” (v.20) (v.13) View slide
  • Our two studiesBackground, The first The last Conclusions themes eleven fourteen and and shape verses verses lessons
  • From where and when• One of Paul’s ‘prison letters’ – “Paul, a prisoner of [RSV for+ Jesus Christ” v.1 – “now also a prisoner of [RSV for+ Jesus Christ” v.9 – “Onesimus... begotten in my bonds” v.10 – “ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel” v.13 – “Epaphras, my fellowprisoner” v.23 Acts chapter 28 verses 30-31 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
  • From where and when• One of Paul’s ‘prison letters’ – “Paul, a prisoner of [RSV for+ Jesus Christ” v.1 – “now also a prisoner of [RSV for+ Jesus Christ” v.9 – “Onesimus... begotten in my bonds” v.10 – “ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel” v.13 – “Epaphras, my fellowprisoner” v.23 Acts chapter 28 verses 30-31 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
  • Verses 23-24 To Philemon, Colossae(?) 23 There salute thee Epaphras, myPhilemon verses 1-2 fellowprisoner in Christ1Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Jesus; 24Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 2 And to our Marcus, Aristarchus, Debeloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the mas, Lucas, mychurch in thy house: fellowlabourers.Colossians ch. 4 verses 16-18 Chapter 4 verses 7-9 Ch. 4 verses 10, 12, 1416 And when this epistle is read 7 All my state shall Tychicus 10 Aristarchus myamong you, cause that it be declare unto you, who is a fellowprisoner salutethread also in the church of the beloved brother, and a faithful you, andLaodiceans; and that ye minister and fellowservant in Marcus, sisters son tolikewise read the epistle from the Lord: 8 Whom I have sent Barnabas...Laodicea. 17 And say to unto you for the same 12 Epaphras, who is oneArchippus, Take heed to the purpose, that he might know of you, a servant ofministry which thou hast your estate, and comfort your Christ, salutethreceived in the Lord, that thou hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a you, always labouringfulfil it. 18 The salutation by the faithful and beloved brother, fervently for you...hand of me Paul. Remember who is one of you. They shall 14 Luke, the belovedmy bonds. Grace be with you. make known unto you all physician, andAmen. things which are done here. Demas, greet you.
  • An interesting connectionColossians chapter 3 verse 22 – chapter 4 verse 122 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to theflesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness ofheart, fearing God:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and notunto men;24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of theinheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which hehath done: and there is no respect of persons.4v1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal;knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.Also a major topic of Epistle to Ephesians, written at same time, see ch. 6 v 5 -9
  • An example outline of the letter
  • The relevance of the Epistle to us• The book’s simple allegory Philemon Paul Onesimus[Allegory = God] [Allegory = Christ] [Allegory = Us]• The importance of mercy, not the rights and wrongs of the situation “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5v7)
  • The tone set, opening 3 words “Paul, a prisoner”• Romans “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ”• 1 Corinthians “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ”• 2 Corinthians “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”• Galatians “Paul, an apostle”• Ephesians “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”• Philippians “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ”• Colossians “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”• 1 Thessalonians “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church”• 2 Thessalonians “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church”• 1 Timothy “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”• 2 Timothy “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”• Titus “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ”
  • The telling contrasts/comparisons “I might be much bold in “for love’s sake I ratherPaul’s approach Christ” v.8 beseech thee” v.9Paul & Onesimus “Paul the aged” v.9 “my son Onesimus” v.10 “profitable” v.11Onesimus’ value “unprofitable” v.11 (Onesimus = ‘the useful one’ ‘profitable’ ‘helpful’) “in thy stead he [Onesimus] “the bowels of the saints arePhilemon’s service might have ministered unto refreshed by thee” v.7 me” v.13Paul’s choice “I would have retained” v.13 “I have sent again” v.12Onesimus’ position “departed for a season” v.15 “receive him for ever” v.15 “a servant” v.16 “a brother beloved” v.16Onesimus’ status “in the flesh” v.16 “in the Lord” v.16
  • Many appeals (at least 16 angles) The basis of the appeal Verse(s) Paul’s position – a prisoner 1, 9, 10, 13, 23 Paul’s relationship – with beloved Philemon 1-2 God’s grace – active in the life of Philemon 3, 25 Paul’s prayers – for Philemon 4 Philemon’s reputation – for good works 5 Paul’s restraint – beseeching, not demanding 8-9 Paul’s age – no longer a young man 9 Paul’s begettal – of his son Onesimus 10 Onesimus’ service – to Paul in prison 13 Onesimus’ new state – a brother 16 Paul’s offer – to repay any debt 18 Paul’s writing – personally to Philemon 19 Philemon’s debt – to Paul his converter 19 Paul’s wish – to receive joy from Philemon 20 Paul’s confidence – in Philemon’s obedience 21 Paul’s desire – to visit Philemon again 22
  • Greetings & commendationPhilemon verses 1-3 • “Philemon” = ‘friendly’ (Strong)1 • “Timothy”/Timotheus mentioned, who was Paul, a prisoner ofJesus Christ, and with Paul in Rome during 1st imprisonmentTimothy our (see Philippians 1v1, 12-14, 2v19)brother, unto Philemon • “ Apphia” = probably Philemon’s wife;our dearly beloved, and “beloved” = feminine i.e. ‘sister’ (Strong),fellowlabourer, as RSV, ESV and NET each have this2 And to our beloved • “Archippus” = probably Philemon’s sonApphia, and Archippus • “The church in thy house” = suggestsour fellowsoldier, and tothe church in thy house: Philemon prosperous (also had a slave and a3 Grace to you, and place for lodging guests v.22)peace, from God our • “Grace” and “peace” intimately connectedFather and the Lord (found together in every single one of theJesus Christ. salutations to Paul’s Epistles)
  • Philemon’s characterPhilemon verses 4-7 • How are we to understand v. 4? Did every prayer of Paul include4 I thank my God, making Philemon? Probably better as...mention of thee always in my – “I thank my God always when Iprayers, remember you in my prayers,” (ESV)5 Hearing of thy love and faith, – “I always thank my God as I rememberwhich thou hast toward the Lord you in my prayers,” (NET)Jesus, and toward all saints; • To have love toward “all saints” is6 That the communication of thy first to have love “toward the Lordfaith may become effectual by Jesus” (as in Matthew 25v40)the acknowledging of every good • A vibrant and active believer:thing which is in you in Christ – “Communication” = Gk. koinonia =Jesus. partnership, fellowship (played on in7 For we have great joy and verse 17, “If thou count me thereforeconsolation in thy love, because a partner” = Gk. koinonos)the bowels of the saints are – “Effectual” = Gk. energes = in work,refreshed by thee, brother. powerful* (* as translated Heb. 4v12)
  • “Receive your run-away slave, The plea now brother, Onesimus. Paul”Philemon verses 8-11 • Paul could have used his Apostolic8 credentials to force this situation but Wherefore, though I might he chose not to, following Peter’sbe much bold in Christ toenjoin thee that which is guidance to elders:convenient, 1 Peter chapter 5 verses 2-39 Yet for loves sake I ratherbeseech thee, being such an “Feed the flock of God which is amongone as Paul the aged, and you, taking the oversight thereof, not bynow also a prisoner of Jesus constraint, but willingly; not for filthyChrist. lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being10 I beseech thee for my son lords over Gods heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”Onesimus, whom I have • Convenient = Gk. aneko = fit, properbegotten in my bonds:11 Which in time past was to • Twice Philemon is beseeched acrossthee unprofitable, but now verses 9-10, but the subject matter ofprofitable to thee and to me: letter only revealed in verse 10 itself!
  • The story so far...• The thoughtful prisoner, Paul in ‘dire straits’ but thinking only of the welfare of others• The tactful appeal, no mistaking its intention but altogether balanced (did not deny the wrongdoing of the ‘Prodigal son’)• The build up, Onesimus only mentioned by name as the 167th word of the Epistle (almost ⅖ way through)• The continued beseeching, for the run-away...
  • Our two studiesBackground, The first The last Conclusions themes eleven fourteen and and shape verses verses lessons
  • The Letter to Philemon (2 Studies) Laindon Bible Study 17th November 2011 (Gw)