Where would you be without the Gospel?
From Letters of Paul: 30-Day Bible Study
In Psalm 30, David praises God for delivering him from death’s hand. David was delivered from death physically and spiritually. Onesimus, the subject of Paul’s letter to Philemon, experienced that same transformation when he put his faith in Christ.
As a slave, Onesimus stole from Philemon and ran away to Rome, most likely never to be seen again. But then Onesimus met Paul — the same Paul that led Philemon to Christ — and Onesimus was saved as well. So how does that change how a master and slave relate to one another?
Through Jesus’ death on the cross and forgiveness of our sins, all those who confess and believe not only have eternal life, they become brothers and sisters in Christ.
Before putting their trust in Jesus, Philemon and Onesimus only had one relationship — master and runaway slave, the wealthy Christian and the thief. But in God’s kingdom, they’re brothers. They have the same heavenly Father and share the same eternal inheritance. The old is gone, the new has come.
Philemon lost a slave, but gained a brother; he lost a servant and found family. The owner/owned relationship is gone, replaced by brotherhood in God’s kingdom. Both the slave and the slavemaster can fellowship as redeemed sinners, saved by grace through faith. Because God reconciles us to Himself through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, Philemon and Onesimus can be reconciled to one another.
Like Onesimus, we’re useless without the Gospel. We’re dead in our sins. But God, being rich in mercy, made us alive together with Christ. Together. Because of Jesus, we can have hope that all our relationships can be reconciled, no matter the situation.
- What areas of your life have transformed through your faith in Jesus?
- What areas still need transformation?
- Are you trusting God with these areas? If so how?