What stood out to you from Sunday’s message?
Read Philemon 1-25
The Letter to Philemon is theology in action. Paul does not teach theology in this letter, but every action in it is theologically motivated. The gospel is not just a message we believe, it shapes our behaviours and relationships. It is because of the gospel that Paul appeals to Philemon to welcome and reconcile with the runaway slave Onesimus. Paul’s letter calls us to pursue gospel-motivated reconciliation and to do the hard work of forgiveness.
1. Imagine the situation of Onesimus facing Philemon (in front of the church) with this letter in hand. What are the obstacles to reconciliation for Onesimus? And for Philemon?
2. Is there a situation where you found it very difficult to forgive someone? Why can it be so hard to forgive?
3. How does refusing to forgive harm our relationship with God and with others? Have you experienced that?
4. How does Paul work to reconcile Onesimus and Philemon? What are the key steps he takes? What responsibility do we have to help others reconcile?
5. How is our understanding and experience of the gospel crucial to our forgiveness of others? What specifically do we need to remember?
6. Are there steps you need to take this week? How can we pray for you or hold you accountable?