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Session 30

Useless Without the Gospel

Read: Philemon , Psalm 30

Philemon might seem like an odd book to include in the Bible—it's only one chapter, 25 verses of a very personal letter from Paul to Philemon. But it reveals a bigger picture of how the Gospel changes everything, even the most strained relationships.

Onesimus was a slave, owned by Philemon. He stole from his master 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, but become brothers and sisters in Christ. In our eyes and in the perspective of the culture of the time, Philemon and Onesimus only had one relationship—master and runaway slave, the wealthy Christian and the useless thief. But in the Kingdom, because they're both Christians, now they're brothers. They have the same Heavenly Father and share in the same eternal inheritance. The old is gone, the new has come.

Paul says, “Formerly [Onesimus] was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.” Philemon lost a slave, but gained a brother; he lost property 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.


1

Sent Not from Men

Sent Not from Men

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2

Crucified Life

Crucified Life

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3

You Are All One

You Are All One

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4

Sons and Daughters

Sons and Daughters

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5

Keep in Step

Keep in Step

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6

Weary

Weary

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7

For this Reason

For this Reason

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8

Making Payments

Making Payments

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9

Rooted and Established

Rooted and Established

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10

Member

Member

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11

Forgive

Forgive

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12

Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

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13

Simple Ways a Christian Can Navigate Through Suffering, Part I

Simple Ways a Christian Can Navigate Through Suffering, Part I

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14

Simple Ways a Christian Can Navigate Through Suffering, Part II

Simple Ways a Christian Can Navigate Through Suffering, Part II

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15

Perseverance

Perseverance

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16

Joy

Joy

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17

Potential

Potential

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18

Rooted

Rooted

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19

Make the Most

Make the Most

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20

Well-Seasoned

Well-Seasoned

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21

Packed with Purpose

Packed with Purpose

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22

He’s Returning. Live Like It!

He’s Returning. Live Like It!

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23

Love Is All You Need

Love Is All You Need

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24

Living on a Prayer

Living on a Prayer

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25

Training for Battle

Training for Battle

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26

Out of This World!

Out of This World!

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27

It’s Who You Know, Not What You Know

It’s Who You Know, Not What You Know

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28

Livin’ by the Good Book

Livin’ by the Good Book

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29

Soundness or Sickness?

Soundness or Sickness?

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30

Useless Without the Gospel

Useless Without the Gospel

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