The Product Of Saving Grace

Title: The Product Of Saving Grace

Bible Book: Philemon 1 : 11-14

Author: Donald Cantrell

Subject: Salvation; Saving Grace: Philemon



Philemon 1:11-14 (KJV), “Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.”

In this passage we consider the change that takes place when a lost sinner receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The Simple Plan of Salvation

a. One must hear the gospel call
b. One must heed the gospel call

The Strange Power of Salvation

a. The power to cleanse a person
b. The power to change a person

I. The Past Void in the Life of Onesimus

Onesimus had allowed his slavery to get the best of him, in doing this he ended up being useless as a slave. The man had an empty void in his life that seemingly was beyond being filled. The lost sinner can never find anything to fill the God sized hole that is in his heart.

A. Slavery Had Infected His Outlook

The slave had lost his love for life and living, is this not the affect of being lost and without the love of Jesus in our hearts? I believe that Onesimus had searched for fulfillment, but to no avail.

B. Slavery Had Infected His Output

The void that had overtaken him infected him to the point that he was useless to his master. The slave became of no value in his love or his labor; life could not go on any longer at this pace.

II. The Present Value in the Life of Onesimus

One day Onesimus came in contact with the love of Jesus Christ and on this day he embraced the word and became a new man. The void in his life would be replaced with a new outlook and a new output. The power of the gospel is one that can change a man for the better each and every time.

A. Paul Witnessed The Salvation Of Onesimus

In talking to Onesimus from day to day, Paul saw the mighty work of God in his life and it was awesome and amazing. The runaway slave was now eagerly serving with a fresh and renewed vigor. The changing of one’s heart will affect the entire outlook of a man, and so it was with this man Onesimus.

B. Paul Welcomed The Service Of Onesimus

Upon experiencing the inward change of full and free salvation, Onesimus willfully sprang forth into productive service. The slave that hated his old life was now a slave to the king of kings and the lord of lords and it affected how he looked at his life. The woeful slave had now become a willful slave.

III. The Perplexing Visit in the Life of Onesimus

The new Christian was challenged to go back home and face his former master with the good news of his salvation. I believe that this was a hard thing to do.

A. The Coming Slave Needs Forgiveness

It would be very difficult for him to face the piercing eyes of his owner. The fleer needed forgiveness, this was a striking request.

B. The Converted Saint Needs Friendship

Paul desired that Philemon would accept him just as he would any other new believer. The new convert needed a new friend and Philemon was the chosen man.

IV. The Perfect Venue in the Life of Onesimus

Onesimus had joined in on the gospel ministry of Paul and it was very productive and benefiting.

The venue that Paul offered Onesimus was perfecting and satisfying, but there was a greater need in sending him back to Philemon.

A. Paul Valued The Noble Assistance Of Onesimus

Onesimus had proven his conversion in the very sight of Paul. The slave had become a major source of help and blessing in the life of Paul.

B. Paul Valued The Noted Approval Of Philemon

In sending Onesimus back home Paul was hoping that Philemon could openly and freely forgive his former slave and Paul’s dear friend. The desire of Paul was intense for the forgiveness of Onesimus, hopefully Philemon would honor it.

The salvation experience of Onesimus was one for the ages and was distinctly placed in the bible, but even greater was the hope of Philemon extending forgiveness to his runaway slave. I believe that this is the greater story of Philemon, one of forgiveness.

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