Philemon and Onesimus
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It is a purpose which will be made plain in the eternal world, in the mysterious state of existence which awaits every one of us when we have passed the gate of death. To St. Paul, the future life was just as certain as the shining of the sun in the heavens, and therefore he writes quite naturally to Philemon: "Perhaps Onesimus was therefore parted from thee for a season, that thou mightest receive him forever. Paul will not encourage us in a rash and presumptuous confidence when we endeavour to interpret in detail God's providences in this life by the light of the next.
We may conjecture that such and such an event is permitted for such and such an end, which will be agreeable to the known will and attributes of God; we cannot know that it is so. Some well-meaning, but unthinking people, undertake to interpret a human life, just as they undertake the Revelation of St.
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John, with an easy reliance on their own insight, which nothing but ignorance of the real difficulties of the subject can possibly explain. Paul saw as far as most men into the purposes of God, and yet, when he would interpret God's purpose in respect of a given human life, he reverently adds "Perhaps" — "Perhaps he therefore was parted from thee for a season, that thou mightest receive him forever.
Paul describes what took place, but in his own religious language. Onesimus had robbed Philemon and had fled from justice: St. Paul says, "He was parted from thee for a time. Paul sees a higher hand in what seemed to be only the act of Onesimus.
Onesimus & Philemon
If Onesimus robbed and fled from his master, God permitted him to do so, and this permission we are told was probably given in order to bring about the conversion of Onesimus to the Christian faith and his reunion with his master Philemon, first in this life at Colosse, and then forever in the life everlasting. Now, what is here remarkable is that even the misconduct of Onesimus seems to have been, according to St.
Paul, permitted for a purpose which would be made plain in the future life. God knew what he was doing in permitting the misconduct of Onesimus. Translated by James Herbert Srawley 3rd ed.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Onesimus, whose love surpasses words, in the flesh as your bishop. I pray that you may love him with a love according to Jesus Christ, and that you may all be like him.
For blessed is He Who granted unto you, worthy as you are, to possess such a bishop. Fitzmyer S.
Colossians 4:7-9 & Philemon
Lutheran Worship. Concordia Publishing House, Livingstone, , Oxford University Press, p. Bishops of Byzantium and Patriarchs of Constantinople.
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Because they are both believers, God's grace and healing mercy have made them partners under the new humanity Jesus' established. While Paul doesn't mention Jesus' death and resurrection directly in this book, he offers to take on any punishment Onesimus deserves, a demonstration of what Jesus did on the cross.
Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus: Brothers? | The New Testament
He encourages Philemon to do the same as he reconciles to Onesimus before God. Prose Discourse,. Paul helps his friend Philemon to reconcile with his escaped former slave Onesimus, and shows that they are equals because of Jesus. Read Scripture.
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Paul gets personal.