Philemon and Onesimus

January 14, 2018 Speaker: Jordan Gowing Series: Philemon | Forgiveness

Topic: Sunday Morning Teaching Passage: Philemon 1:1–25

Join us this Sunday at CrossWinds Church in Spencer as we look at the incredible story of forgiveness and reconciliation in the lives of Philemon and Onesimus.

Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. What did you know about the book of Philemon before today? Share something new you learned from this book.
  2. Read the book of Philemon. Which verses of Paul’s appeal are particularly powerful for you?
  3. In Philemon 4–5, 7, 20, Paul describes the close-knit nature of the church body. Broken relationships affect the rest of the church. Restored relationships encourage the rest of the church. How can lingering broken Christian relationships affect the church? Do you have a relationship with a fellow Christian that God is prompting you to forgive and restore?
  4. Why did Paul not simply tell Philemon what to do? Is there a time when it is appropriate for a church leader to command instead of appeal?
  5. Put yourself in Onesimus’s shoes on his journey from Rome to Colossae. How would you feel? Would you have any doubts about your decision? What would keep you going forward?
  6. Put yourself in Philemon’s shoes when he sees Onesimus in his house for the first time. What would be your initial reaction? How would you respond to Paul’s letter?
  7. Read Philemon 3–7. How does Paul describe Philemon? How does remembering his character and faith encourage the right response toward Onesimus?
  8. Read Philemon 8–11. Why is it important for us to not only make the right decision but to do it from the right heart? 
  9. Read Philemon 12–16. When caught up in the heat of the moment and facing a difficult situation, Paul reminds Philemon to look at this situation from God’s perspective. What is God’s sovereignty? How does remembering God’s sovereignty give us perspective when we are hurt?
  10. Read Philemon 17–20. Paul recognizes that restitution may need to be made for Onesimus’s release. How does Paul model the gospel here? What are some ways that you can model the gospel in difficult times?
  11. Is there any relationship or situation that you have been neglecting that God is calling you to address? How does the story of Philemon and Onesimus speak into this situation?

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