SAVED BY GRACE

The grace of God can change anyone. Take Onesimus, from the book of Philemon, for example. He was a run-away slave, probably a thief, and, prior to that, a useless servant to Philemon, his owner. After fleeing Philemon, he made his way to Rome, where God got ahold of him. He became a Christian, a follower of Jesus, and his character started to change. He began to help the Apostle Paul, who was in prison.

Onesimus had changed so much that Paul felt confident sending him back to Philemon. That change could only come through the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew he was a new person. He wrote a letter asking Philemon to accept Onesimus back and to forgive him because of this change. Paul did not want Philemon to take him back as a slave, although he had every right to, but as a brother. Paul loved Onesimus as a son and he knew Philemon loved his Christian brothers and sisters. It is in the name of love that Paul asked Philemon to take him back and forgive him. Onesimus could be useful (that is what his name means) to Philemon, probably in helping with the church that met in Philemon’s home, just as he had been helping Paul in Rome.

So we have the story of a sinner who was saved by grace, who became a help to the great Apostle. We, too, need to remember that we have been saved only by God’s grace. He saved us for Himself, to be His sons and daughters, so we can minister to others.

by Matt Dawson

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