Charge it to my account (II Kings 18, Philemon 1)

“If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account,” Philemon 1:18

This morning I could not help but get totally engaged in the scene before me in the book of Philemon.  Before us is the compelling story of a slave who has run away from his master.  But in his running away he actually runs into another Master!!!  So amazing is this new master, the slave surrenders his life to him.  At this point I need to back up before I get ahead of myself.

I want us to look at this scene in correct tools of Bible study:

1.  Discover the context:

The Apostle Paul is in prison in Rome.  He is writing a letter to his brother in Christ (Philemon) who has come to know the Lord through Paul’ ministry.  The gospel so affected this man’s life that we see him opening his home for a house church.  His testimony of love and faith was known throughout his home town.

Paul is writing to inform Philemon that his slave, Onesimus has come to Rome.  While there Paul presented the gospel to him and the Lord opened his heart to the gospel.  Now Paul is sending him back, not as a slave, but as a brother.  Paul’s desire is that Philemon would receive him as a brother.

Paul goes so far as to promise to pay any debt owed by Onesimus.

2.  Discover the content:

Two things stand out in the content:

1.  The impact of the gospel:

Each man has been greatly changed by the gospel.

2.  The investment of the gospel:

Paul was willing to pay for Onesimus to be reconciled to his owner.

3.  Discover the intent:

Brothers and sisters, it is the gospel that changes mens lives.  Brothers and sisters it is Christ who paid the debt we owed to God so that we could be reconciled to God.

Takeaway:

In this moment I cannot help but praise the Lord for paying my debt!!!  This encouragement teaches me to be willing to help others be reconciled, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” 

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