How did Paul use the case of Onesimus to emphasise the concept of forgiveness

Paul believed that Philemon’s slave,
Onesimus, had run away, with goods stolen from his master and later sought
refuge in Rome where he met Paul in prison. Apostle Paul wrote a letter seeking
forgiveness for his runaway slave to Philemon. Since Paul converted Philemon,
he would have expected him to oblige his request and abide by his will, but
because of his conviction it would be wrong to assume such authority over his
spiritual son, ( Philemon). He rather preferred to write him not as a command
but with a spirit of love and persuasion, on behalf of Onesimus who had become
his (Paul’s) own son in Christ. His letter was necessary since Onesimus has
become a born again Christian. Paul taught it wise to send Onesimus back to
Philemon with love. Ordinarily he would have liked to retain Onesimus as his
assistant, but he rather opted to send him to his master. Since it was Paul’s
strong conviction that Onesimus departure from Philemon was for his moral and
spiritual growth,now that forgiveness is in place there would be permanent
reconciliation between Master and slave. Onesimus would now be accepted back as
a Christian brother not as a slave. Paul believed that if Philemon still
regarded him as a true Christian partner and brother, he should extend a
similar regard to Onesimus and accepted his claim to undertake all outstanding
bills that Onesimus must have owed him, with the view to paying them. Paul
believed that if his plea to Philemon for Onesimus should succeed he would be
spiritually refreshed.

Post a Comment

0 Comments