Philemon — “You are NOT worthless!”
This past Sunday, we paused our study in Romans, but continued the theme we considered at the end of Romans 5—the thimble of our sin compared to the ocean of God’s grace.
We see this illustrated in the short letter to Philemon, which the Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon regarding his runaway slave Onesimus. Though seen as small, insignificant, and worthless in the eyes of society, God would esteem and elevate Onesimus to the highest position that anyone in creation could ever hold—co-heir with Christ!
God wants to do the same for you. He thinks about you more than the number of grains of sand on earth, more than the stars in our universe, and more than all aspects of all creation combined! His thought towards you are good.
This is what the letter to Philemon is about. You are NOT worthless. You are loved by God, who invites YOU to be transformed from His creation to one of His children. Watch our study from Sunday and marvel at the marvelous grace of Jesus.
God's Grace > Your Sin
Consider the great lengths God went to in order to express His love for humanity. He showed this love in a tangible way—“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). In 2 Corinthians, we read that “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin so that in Him we might become the very righteousness of God.” (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)
That’s an important reality to realize. Jesus didn’t just pay the debt of your sin and zeroed out your balance. He didn’t just credit your account His righteousness. No, He went even further—He made you INTO the very righteousness of God itself.
So if you are in Christ—be who you are!
In Christ, you are no longer a daughter or a son of Adam—you are now daughter or a son of God.
In Christ, you are no longer a sister or a brother of Cain and Abel—you are now a sister or a brother of Jesus.
In Christ, you are no longer a subject of the reign of sin and death through sin that came as a result of Adam’s disobedience—you are now a citizen of the reign of grace through righteousness to eternal life through Him.
In Christ, you are made into the very righteousness of God in Him!
Be who you are—in all places and at all times. And should you forget who you are—should you drift back to being a son or daughter of Adam and revisit the reign of sin and death—remember that God’s grace is greater than your sin. All of your sin collected and contained would only fill a thimble compared to the ocean of God’s grace.
In Romans 5, Paul writes about two different men—Adam and Jesus. Each of these men did something that had lasting effects on everyone who came after them. Adam’s act of disobedience caused a reign of death and sin—a reign that all of mankind has lived through. But Jesus’ act of obedience caused a reign of grace through righteousness to eternal life through Him!
Paul wanted us to know that although we were born into the reign of sin and death, we can be born into Jesus’ reign of grace. His one act of obedience resulted in a gift of righteousness which will allow anyone who has been born again into His family to reign in life and grace!
Watch the replay of our study in Romans 5:12-21 as we considered this portion of scripture and see once again how God’s grace is greater than our sin.
While we were at our worst, Christ died for us. While we were still sinners, God demonstrated His own love toward us. While we were unworthy in every way, God give us His one and only Son. Not only His Son, but peace, access to Him, hope, love, and His Holy Spirit. When we were at our absolute worst, God showed us how much He loves us by giving us all of this.
Think this through: God gave us all of this to us when we were the most ungodly, unworthy, and unrighteous. What Jesus did was so much more than paying your debt and crediting your account. Jesus not only gave you His righteousness, He had made you into the very righteousness of God.
How much more do you think He will do now that we have been made righteous—His righteousness? If He has given us such peace, hope, and love while we were His enemies, how much more will He give now that He has made us into His friends—His children?
His grace is truly amazing!
Do you remember your identity before you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? You were anxious, alone, lost, and rejected.
But then, something happened once you met Jesus and yielded to Him. You were no longer afraid, but had a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. You were no longer alone, but a friend of God. You once were lost, but now are found. In Christ, you have been accepted and restored.
In the passage we considered this past Sunday, the Apostle Paul points out these disparities—the difference between a life without the hope of the gospel, and a life that’s forever changed by Jesus.
On one side, there are words like without strength, ungodly, sinners, and enemies. And on the other side are words like love, justified, saved, reconciled, and life.
Paul wants everyone to know that Jesus is willing and wanting to take anyone from a place of weakness to a place of life, love, and strong consolation. Watch our study from Romans 5:6-11 and learn about the reconciliation that Jesus offers to all of us.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends
Strengthened by grace is the Bible Teaching ministry of Pastor Dominic Dinger.
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