Up until yesterday, blogspot was completely inaccessible, and even now, it only comes up sometimes. I'll update as often as possible, but if I don't...you know why. :)
Confession time: I've always been fairly indifferent to the book of Philemon......until today.
Why? Because for the first time today I really saw the parallels between myself and Onesimus. I was sitting there in class and was thoroughly excited to see so much of the book come into focus.
Onesimus was owned by Philemon. However, he was an unfaithful servant, useless to Philemon, and he eventually ran away. However, he was introduced to Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul and gave his life to the Lord. The book of Philemon is Paul's appeal to Philemon to forgive and restore Onesimus. Verses 17 through 20 are Paul's plea that Philemon accept this brother, to receive him as if he were receiving Paul. Any debts that Onesimus had were to be charged to Paul's account to be repaid in full by him. Therefore, Onesimus was to be accepted and restored to Philemon on the merits of another person.
I have been unfaithful to God. My back was completely turned him as my sin offended Him daily. Time and time again I wronged the holy God of Heaven. However, Christ came to earth and took my debt upon Himself. He repaid my debt "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us (me) with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:14) Just as Onesimus' debt was imputed to Paul and Paul's fellowship with Philemon was imputed to Onesimus......my sin was imputed to Christ and His righteousness was imputed to me. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Philemon received Onesimus back as he would receive Paul, and God receives me as He would His Son, Jesus Christ. I am accepted and forgiven on the merits and by the work of Jesus Christ.
My response? I must rest in the work that has been done on my behalf, knowing that it wasn't earned. In that rest, there must be an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the One Who did what I couldn't.
Thank you Lord Jesus!!