Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 99
April 9, 2018; Philemon 1:14; 204/260(II); ‘Do Things Right’
Philemon 1:4 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
Philemon was a friend of Paul’s, who was in prison. As with the churches and others, Paul prayed consistently for Philemon (v4). Evidently Philemon had a slave named Onesimus who ministered to Paul in prison. Paul led him to the Lord. Verse 11 implies that possibly Onesimus and Philemon had ‘issues,’ and Onesimus and Philemon parted for awhile (v15). In this letter, Paul is telling Philemon how much Onesimus has changed and that he would now be the type of servant Philemon needs him to be. Paul desired that Onesimus would remain with him to minister to Paul while he was in jail. Though Paul wanted Onesimus to be there with him, he would not allow him to stay until Philmon gave his approval. Perhaps Philemon did not even know where Onesimus was. Paul, with his great integrity, updated Philemon concerning his servant, so that Philemon could agree to let Onesimus remain with Paul or return to him. Paul wrote that perhaps the Lord’s purpose was for Onesimus to leave so that he could be led to the Lord by Paul and minister to him. Paul believes he will be released from prison and that he and Onesimus will return to Philemon. It seems that Paul must have ministered to Philemon and either led him to the Lord or helped him greatly (v18-19). Here is the point I believe that the Lord would make with this verse. Paul seemingly had every right to ‘require’ of Philemon that Onesimus be with him, but that is not the Lord’s way nor Paul’s way. Living life in line with the Word is the very best way to live. Love and doing the right thing pays off. Paul always did this.