Philemon 8-16
• Introduction
• The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
“Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold
and order y...
Philemon 8-16
• Introduction
• The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
• The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
Philemon 8-16

• Introduction
• The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
• The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
• The content of Paul’...
Philemon 8-16
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction
The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
The content of Pau...
Philemon 8-16
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction
The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
The content of Pau...
Philemon 8-16
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction
The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
The content of Pau...
Philemon 8-16
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction
The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
The content of Pau...
Philemon 8-16
•
•
•
•
•
•

Introduction
The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8
The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
The content of P...
Philemon 8 -16
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Philemon 8 -16

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These slides accompany the mp3 audio files on our Soundcloud channel here
https://soundcloud.com/simon-bowkett-1/philemon-8-9-the-basis-and-the
and here: https://soundcloud.com/simon-bowkett-1/philemon-10-16-the-glory-of
and the video files on our Youtube channel here:
http://youtu.be/8eUGtkU5TIo
and here: http://youtu.be/s_4YvcAGzto

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  • There’s an embarrassing amount in the Bible about the authority of those who minister God’s Word … Paul is doing nothing unique here when he refers to his authority to order Philemon to do the right thing with Onesimus.Hebrews has a famous passage about this in Heb. 13:17“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”It’s as if the Biblical author has no compunction at all in saying this.It’s the same here with Paul as he speaks to this wealthy, socially significant, beneficent HOST to and BENEFACTOR OF the church at Colossae!No fawning to worldly wealth or prestige here from the Emperor’s (rather CHRIST’s) prisoner in Rome!I COULD just say ‘DO IT!’ – says Paul.But look, I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love … Paul will go on to describe where that should come from both in terms of Paul’s sacrifice for the Gospel and in terms of Paul’s having brought the Gospel powerfully (under God) into Philemon’s life … the issue though is that Paul is trying to get Philemon to live counter-culturally and self-sacrificially for Christ not from any sense of compulsion but out of gratitude to God BOTH for what God has done in Philemon’s life AND for what God has done in the life of this previously unprofitable, thieving runaway slave Paul’s sending back to him.Did you notice the word we’ve left out?It was therefore.So what’s it there for?It’s there because of vv. 5-7 which demonstrate the reality of grace in Philemon’s life evidenced by the way it’s changed his behaviour.The lives of God’s people are run through with grace the way the letters run right through the stick of rock.Paul can see evidence of that in Philemon and it is precisely conduct consistent with this ‘run through the rock’ grace that Paul is calling on Philemon to now demonstrate with this slave who is being sent back to him, but who would be far more effective sent back to serve the cause of the Gospel in Rome.
  • Fugitive slaves often fled to Rome …God took Onesimus to Rome – a VERY long way away … to meet Paul, to meet Jesus, and get converted.There’s a word play on the name Onesimus which means ‘useful’ … Onesimus was very useful to Paul after the slave’s conversion but had been useless to Philemon before.Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon – asking Philemon to do ‘what is right/ proper’ in the changed circumstances …He was Paul’s heartPaul would have liked to keep himWhy?So that the obligation Philemon is under to help God’s servants … especially ones like Paul at the moment who is suffering because he taught you the Bible … might at least be met in his place by his servant.“he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.”There’s the content of Paul’s appeal … here comes Paul’s adding of some POWER to that appeal …
  • Grace in your heart will always lead to self-sacrifice …It comes to you from and calls you to follow the Saviour Who poured out His life unto death, even death on a Cross.The scent of grace lies never far from glad personal sacrifice.
  • “ I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favour you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.”If you think you’ve got a bit of a Cross to bear … go back to Jesus.Bearing your Cross is the stuff that you pick up and carry forwards VOLUNTARILY.It COULD WELL be bearing with terrible personal suffering, but only the bit of that experience you’re picking up because you’re following Jesus through it.Losing his slave Onesimus that he’d paid good money for wasn’t taking up his cross to follow Jesus.Sacrificing having him (because of the grace Philemon’d received) to the service of God in the Gospel?That was!It was personal sacrifice in the situation that was being born to serve and glorify Jesus.
  • At one level Paul is being really cheeky in this letter.He’s asking for what he’s humanly got NO right to ask for.And he doesn’t seem embarrassed to be asking a person he’s taught the Bible to if he’s willing to do his preacher this favour.Paul KNOWS he has the authority from God – it’s NOT apostolic authority it’s the authority of one who taught Philemon the Gospel, brought God’s Word to him – authority to ask Philemon to do this big, counter-cultural (even socially revolutionary) thing.But Paul is laying aside that authoritarian approach because (ideally) God is glorified when the early church’s emphasis and priority of saturation with grace is the driver of Christian conduct … radical, costly, self-sacrificial Christian conduct born of the love that proves the Gospel is REAL.That’s what underlies v. 14.“so that any favour you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.”
  • Philemon 8 -16

    1. 1. Philemon 8-16 • Introduction • The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.”
    2. 2. Philemon 8-16 • Introduction • The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 • The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9
    3. 3. Philemon 8-16 • Introduction • The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 • The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 • The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him – who is my very heart – back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.”
    4. 4. Philemon 8-16 • • • • • Introduction The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 The power of Paul’s appeal, vv. 14-16 “But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favour you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for ever – 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.”
    5. 5. Philemon 8-16 • • • • • Introduction The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 The power of Paul’s appeal, vv. 14-16 – The hand of Providence, v. 15?
    6. 6. Philemon 8-16 • • • • • Introduction The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 The power of Paul’s appeal, vv. 14-16 – The hand of Providence, v. 15? – The scent of grace, v. 16?
    7. 7. Philemon 8-16 • • • • • Introduction The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 The power of Paul’s appeal, vv. 14-16 – The hand of Providence, v. 15? – The scent of grace, v. 16? – The key issue, v. 14 … not forced – graciousness born out of grace
    8. 8. Philemon 8-16 • • • • • • Introduction The basis of Paul’s appeal, v. 8 The power of Paul’s appeal, v. 9 The content of Paul’s appeal, vv. 10-13 The power of Paul’s appeal, vv. 14-16 Conclusion
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