Open Your Bible
Philemon 1:4-22, Leviticus 19:11-18, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Galatians 6:1-2, Galatians 6:10, Colossians 3:9-15
BY She Reads Truth
We’re over halfway through This Is the New Testament, our thematic overview of the New Testament. Each day we’ll read a thematic selection from a different book of the Bible, along with supplemental passages that show how the theme of that day’s main reading is found throughout Scripture. We’ll also read a brief summary of each book and a reflection on how the book fits into the larger story of Scripture. This week, we’ll finish our look at the Pauline Epistles and begin the General Epistles.
What Is Philemon? Paul wrote this short letter to Philemon, a leader of the house church in Colossae, during his first imprisonment in Rome. In it, Paul asks his friend to forgive Onesimus, who was enslaved to Philemon and came to faith after running away and meeting Paul. Paul also asks Philemon to restore Onesimus to his household, demonstrating Christian love by treating him as a brother in Christ.
How Philemon Fits Into the Story: Philemon is Paul’s shortest letter, yet it is considered one of his most heartfelt. It also captures the true heart of the gospel. When we come to God in repentance and faith, He gives us a new status in the family of God. He welcomes us as if we were Jesus, who assumed full responsibility for the debt of our sin.
1. What do Paul’s words in today’s reading teach you about forgiveness and reconciliation among believers?
2. How does today’s reading shape your understanding of the story of redemption?
Take time to reflect on your responses and share what you are learning with others in the community in the comments.
74 thoughts on "Philemon"
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15
Lord we thank you lord for you are good!
The Leviticus selection was such a good one to go with Paul’s request for Philemon to welcome Onesimus home. It reminds me that we need to do more than actively help others (which often makes us feel good about ourselves). We must live in a way that looks out for others. We’re likely never to directly see the impact of that or feel someone’s appreciation, but it follows God’s way of loving others.
Today’s reading was such a beautiful reminder of redemption. Paul was only motivated by love. I too, want to say things to my fellow believers only in love, and not other motivations. I am so thankful for his word to us and how it encourages but also teaches and rebukes.
Karrie- I’m sorry to hear this. I could have written the same first sentence but with a different reason within my marriage. In my case, I feel like I have done the “head” work of forgiving (I do want to forgive and I’m trying), but I still feel so much hurt and fear that I know my heart still needs to catch up. I’m asking God for wisdom and help in this as in all things. One resource I found helpful, and you might as well, was “Forgiving what you can’t forget” by Lysa TerKeurst. I will be praying for you and your family.
Praises!!! Orthopedic doctor confirmed my left arm is over use. Med treatments and cortisone shot. Recheck in 30 days. Said rotator surgery was doing quite well. Thank you all. Prayers for each of you and your petitions ♥️
Wonderful news Claire B!
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