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I love this letter that Paul writes to Philemon because you can hear the genuine love in Paul’s writing. There is an authentic deep love for Philemon and a confidence in his love for Christ and this is why he is so effective in the kingdom of God. We think this letter is about Onesimus but I think it is really about Philemon. Verses 4-7 is all about Philemon’s genuine love and faith, love for the saints and faith in Christ. These two go hand in hand when you follow Christ. Then verses 8-21 Paul pleads his case for Onesimus out of love for Onesimus and Philemon, stating that the gospel has made Onesimus a new creation. Paul has full confidence in Philemon’s faith and love to fully understand and accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ now. It is a beautiful story of faith and love working together for reconciliation first between Philemon and Onesimus to God and then that salvation in Christ reconciling Philemon and Onesimus together.  It is a letter about the power of the gospel.

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This is a letter to all believers. We can put ourselves in the position of Philemon and see what it means to be a Christian. We are called to love God and love others. It is that simple. Don’t make living the Christian life hard, just love whoever is in front of you every day with Christ’s love. We need to remember our salvation and all that we have been forgiven of and give that grace to others and point them to the only one who can bring life and forgiveness our Lord Jesus.

Oh, how amazing would it be if this was a letter written to all Christians! Paul so confident in our love for God and others, that he didn’t have to command, but simply ask knowing we would love like Christ loved!


Lord I thank you for your great love and grace poured out on me and your church. Please help us pour out that love and grace on others that they may turn to you and give you the glory, praise and honour.