Paul's Letter to Brother Philemon Volume 7
by Clifford Tate
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
Paul makes a Humble Request to Philemon for Onesimus Part 4
Philemon 1:16-18 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; KJV Note: MKJV = Modern King James Version
Paul now spells out exactly what he wants to see Philemon do in this matter of receiving back his slave Onesimus and why he wants to see this be the determined, defined, and the decided mind of Brother Philemon by these very next words here in verse 16, "Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?" (Philemon 1:16) (KJV). Paul no longer sees the old Onesimus, but only the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) in our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ and he wants so much that Philemon do likewise. Paul no longer sees the thieving runaway slave, but now he sees another fellow Christian who is beloved by our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though this man is still technically owned as a slave by Philemon, Paul wants him to disavow, disclaim, and even deny his slave status and receive him back as a brother 'in Christ' for the remainder of their time here as pilgrims and sojourners on the earth who are destined to be together in heaven for all eternity.
With this thought in mind, Onesimus would be freely forgiven by Philemon, even as Christ has forgiven him all his sins as it is written again by this same Apostle to the Church @ Colosse with these words, "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender feelings of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another and forgiving yourselves, if anyone has a complaint against any. As Christ forgave you, so also you do." (Colossians 3:12-13) (MKJV). Here is what Adam Clarke had to say of this verse, "Do not receive him merely as thy slave, nor treat him according to that condition; but as a brother - as a genuine Christian, and particularly dear to me. There is no reason to believe that Onesimus was of the kindred of Philemon; and we must take the term flesh, here, as referring to the right which Philemon had in him. He was a part of his property and of his family; as a slave, this was his condition; but he now stood in a twofold relation to Philemon: 1. According to the flesh, as above explained, he was one of his family. 2. In the Lord; he was now also a member of the heavenly family, and of the Church at Philemon's house. Philemon's interest in him was now doubled, in consequence of his conversion to Christianity."
Next, the Apostle Paul appeals to Brother Philemon's trust and confidence in him as he declares so with these very next words in verse 17, "If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself." (Philemon 1:17) (KJV). Paul's plea for Philemon to receive back Onesimus as if it were Paul himself returning to him having done or committed the same galling, glaring, and gross sins against him. Here is what Albert Barnes had to say of this verse, "The word rendered 'partner' koinoÌ„nos, means 'a partaker, a companion.' The idea in the word is that of having something in common with any one - as common principles; common attachments; a common interest in an enterprise; common hopes. It may be applied to those who hold the same principles of religion, and who have the same hope of heaven, the same views of things, etc. Here the meaning is, that if Philemon regarded Paul as sharing with him in the principles and hopes of religion, or as a brother in the Gospel so that he would receive him, he ought to receive Onesimus in the same way. He was actuated by the same principles, and had the same hopes, and had a claim to be received as a Christian brother. His receiving Onesimus would be interpreted by Paul as proof that he regarded him as a partaker of the hopes of the Gospel, and as a companion and friend."
Paul declares to Brother Philemon that he would be responsible for any money or other resources that Onesimus had stolen from him with these next words in verse 18, "If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;" (Philemon 1:18) (KJV). Paul is willing to reimburse Philemon for any money or other resources Onesimus stole from him in order that it would not be a hardship to Philemon and also so that he would be more willing to receive him back into his home. Paul made this statement because he was willing to do just as he says here, however, he probably did not expect that Philemon would require him to do so. Here is what Alexander MacLaren had to say of this verse, "The verb used here for put to the account of is, according to the commentators, a very rare word; and perhaps the singular phrase may be chosen to let another great Christian truth shine through. Was Paul's love the only one that we know of which took the slave's debts on itself? Did anybody else ever say, 'Put that on mine account'? We have been taught to ask for the forgiveness of our sins as 'debts,' and we have been taught that there is One on whom God has made to meet the iniquities of us all. Christ takes on Himself all Paul's debt, all Philemon's, all ours. He has paid the ransom for all, and He so identifies Himself with men that He takes all their sins upon Him, and so identifies men with Himself that they are 'received as Himself.' It is His great example that Paul is trying to copy here. Forgiven all that great debt, he dare not rise from his knees to take his brother by the throat, but goes forth to show to his fellow the mercy which he has found, and to model his life after the pattern of that miracle of love in which is his trust. It is Christ's own voice which echoes in 'put that on mine account.'"
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE AS A MEMBER OR VISITOR
Reader Count & Comments
Clifford Tate or search for other articles by topic below.
Search for articles on: (e.g. creation; holiness etc.)Read more by clicking on a link:
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles.
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review.
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
FaithWriters offers Christian reading material for Christian readers. We offer Christian articles, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, Christian Bible studies, Christian poems, Christian articles for sale, free use Christian articles, Christian living articles, New Covenant Christian Bible Studies, Christian magazine articles and new Christian articles. We write for Jesus about God, the Bible, salvation, prayer and the word of God.