Philemon 18, is to me a notable quotable, because it stands out as what Christ did for us. He paid a debt that we could not pay. He paid the Sin Debt that we owed to GOD. And He gave us His Right Standing so that we could stand before the Throne of God. Now we know why, but did we accept it? Do we go to God in prayer as a sinner saved by Grace or do we go to God in prayer as the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? Sometimes I find myself going to God with the Boldness of Christ and sometimes I go in the Meekness of Jesus. The different is what I want. Sometimes I just want to thank and praise Him, sometimes I just want to talk, and other times I need something.
Reading Philemon has put a whole new perceptive on my approaching to the Throne of God. Paul makes the same request but in varies voices. Between verses 8 through 22 he goes from being an old man in jail, the one that brought the Gospel to Philemon and a father of this little lost slave boy. Paul could have very easily said, “Take Onesimus back, don’t do anything to him I have already handled him Myself. He is now a Christians so treat him accordingly, or you will have Me; The Great Apostle Paul, to answer to. And you know you don’t want to answer to Me, do you?” But like a concern parent and friend in Christ he calls on the Christian Love that Philemon has, which he, Paul, has heard of all the way in Rome.
Can any of us forgive those who have wronged us? We denied the Sovereignty of the LORD GOD with our living outside of His Perfect Will but Jesus on the cross of Calvary said, “Forget them, for they know not what they do.” Can we forgive the driver that cut us off in traffic, an associates for talking a little rough to us, our love ones for being ‘themselves’, or ourselves for not being more Christ-like as we are still growing into the Knowledge of Godliness?
Now here’s the part that you probably weren’t expecting. We are Onesimus, Paul is Christ, and Philemon is GOD. We are the run-away slaves that did the hurt to the Master and we ran smack into the arms of Jesus, who tells us to take this Blood-soaked letter to the Master of all, and tells the Master to treat us like one of the Family because we have been made whole and fit for eternal perfect service.
This is Justification by Faith in the raw. All Onesimus had to do was to take the letter to Philemon because the work had been done by Paul. But if Onesimus would have tried to work this out himself he would have been severely punished for his disobedience and treachery. This is why we can not even think about trying to work out our salvation, especially when it has already been done for us all we have to do is have the faith to take the letter to God, which He is waiting for and the only thing that He accept as Righteousness.
Now will we humble ourselves enough to take to this Letter to the Master or will you keep living like run away slaves with the hounds on your heels?