SCRIPTURE UNION DAILY GUIDE DEVOTIONAL FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2022 (FROM A SLAVE TO A BROTHER )
TOPIC : FROM A SLAVE TO A BROTHER
Opening Prayer: Oh Lord, grant me divine guidance as I read and meditate on your word in Jesus name.
Scripture: Philemon 15‐25
Question(s) for Reflection• Is there any example for me to follow or not to follow?• What truth is God revealing to me in this passage?
Observe the following set of relationships: Paul and Philemon, Paul and Onesimus, Philemon and Onesimus. What ties them together? Yes, it is the brotherhood in Jesus Christ (v.16). Yet, Philemon appears to have had difficulty accepting Onesimus in this new relationship. Notice the nature of personal appeal that Paul makes to Philemon (vs.16‐17). Given this relationship between Paul and Philemon, Philemon is not only called upon to forgive, but also to let go of anything Onesimus owes him (vs.18‐19).
In the parable of the unmerciful slave, Jesus equated forgiveness with cancelling a debt (Matthew 18:25‐35). We forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered. Paul is consistent in his view about the status of people in Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The change that happened to Onesimus by accepting the gospel (v.10) is the same change that had occurred in Philemon’s life when he accepted the gospel and became a friend, fellow worker, and partner with Paul in the ministry (vs.1,6 & 17). As a result, the master‐servant relationship that existed before is overshadowed by the new relationship in Christ– brotherhood. This is the gospel!
Practice/Word ApplicationFor further thought: In Christ Jesus, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
• Any new insight or reinforcement of what you already know?
Closing Prayer• Thank God for this new relationship.
Offer a prayer of faith in line with2 Samuel 7:29; Luke 15, 16; Romans 9; Psalms 121
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