Application of Philemon
1) Are you willing to appeal to someone on behalf of another-to assume the role of an advocate?
2) What can you learn from Paul’s example in the way he appealed to Philemon?
3) Is there someone whom you need to forgive and offer restoration?
4) Can someone appeal to you to do the right thing on the basis of your character, or do they have to force your hand through rules, regulations, or some sort of “bribe”?
Philemon Themes of Application
Philemon was Paul’s friend and the legal owner of the slave Onesimus. Paul asked Philemon no to punish Onesimus but to forgive and restore him as a new Christian brother.
Christian relationships must be full of forgiveness and acceptance. Can you forgive those who have wronged you?
Slavery was widespread in the Roman Empire, but no one is lost to God or beyond his love. Slavery was a barrier between people, but Christian love and fellowship are to overcome such barriers.
In Christ we are one family. No walls of racial. economic, or political differences should separate us. Let Christ work through you to remove barriers between Christian brothers and sisters.
Paul was a friend of both Philemon and Onesimus. He had the authority as an apostle to tell Philemon what to do. Yet Paul chose to appeal to his friend in Christian love rather than to order him what to do.
Tactful persuasion accomplishes as great deal more than commands when dealing with people. Remember to exhibit courtesy and respect in your relationships.