• The Costs and Demands of Love

    Philemon 17-18

    Are you hesitating to do something that godly love compels you to do? If so, then may Philemon encourage you to stop putting it off and move forward today. Insofar as we are able, we must seek to be reconciled ...Read More

  • Final Greetings for Philemon

    Philemon 23-25

    We who profess the name of Christ must follow Him even when He gives rules we do not like. People who are tempted to commit homosexual acts may not like the call to turn from these deeds, but if they ...Read More

  • Going Above and Beyond

    Philemon 21-22

    Though the Bible allowed provisions for indentured servitude, which was a humane alternative to such harsh punishments for failure to pay one’s debts, such as debtor prisons, nevertheless the seeds for the abolishment for all forms of slavery were ...Read More

  • Paying the Cost

    Philemon 19-20

    In Philippians 2, Paul calls us to follow the example of Christ and put others ahead of ourselves. We seldom consider how our decisions and behavior will be regarded in the community of believers, but this should not be. Instead ...Read More

  • Receiving Onesimus

    Philemon 17-18

    John Calvin takes Paul’s willingness to help Onesimus be reconciled to Philemon as an example for us. The apostle, he writes, “warns us how affectionately we ought to aid a sinner who has given us proof of his repentance ...Read More

  • Sovereign Separation

    Philemon 15-16

    Slowness to identify God’s design is important when we deal with tragedies. Too often we unhelpfully “identify” a specific lesson that the Lord is teaching to hurting people. Generally speaking, we know all things happen to help us learn ...Read More

  • Free Consent

    Philemon 14

    Today’s passage reminds us, as John Calvin says, that “no sacrifices are acceptable to God but those which are freely offered.” Because we still struggle with the presence of sin in our hearts and minds, we must daily be ...Read More

  • Onesimus’ Return

    Philemon 11-13

    Do you have relationships with other believers that would enable you to say with Paul that you would be sending away your “heart” if you were to move or otherwise lose the chance for face-to-face fellowship? God did not make ...Read More

  • Apostolic Authority

    Philemon 9-10

    Even though a Spirit-filled motivation is necessary to make a good deed truly good, sometimes we have to start acting before our motivation aligns itself with our deeds: C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity: “Do not waste time bothering ...Read More

  • Sin’s Reality and the Ideal

    Philemon 8

    As today’s study shows, understanding the cultural background of a passage in Scripture is important to figuring out why an author says what he says. In turn, as we hope to show in future studies, knowing this historical context ...Read More

  • Joy and Comfort in Christ

    Philemon 7

    As we think about the believers in days gone by, it is always important that we acknowledge the truth about the things that they did. We do these believers no favors if we pretend that participation in ungodly systems of ...Read More

  • The Effective Sharing of Faith

    Philemon 6

    That too many believers rarely consult other believers and elders in the church before making a decision reflects the degree to which a non-biblical individualism has corrupted even the thinking of Christians. While the church is not to legalistically bind ...Read More

  • A Personal Yet Public Faith

    Philemon 4-5

    John Calvin writes, “Even the most perfect, so long as they live in this world, never have so good ground for congratulation as not to need prayers, that God may grant to them, not only to persevere till the end ...Read More

  • To Philemon and Company

    Philemon 1-3

    Take some time today to read through the entire epistle to Philemon. Consider how the different aspects of the letter combine to present Paul’s argument. Pick a verse or two to meditate upon; repeat it to yourself a few ...Read More