Which points in this short epistle seem to stand out the most for you?

I have appreciated the book of Philemon for the kindness and love shown in it. It could well be a model for any letter or email message to any other brother or sister in the church. If a letter is worth writing, it is worth planning and considering the possible impact it may have on the reader.

Paul began with these few sections:

  • Greeting and Encouragement–vss. 1-3
  • Philemon’s love and faith–vss. 4-7
  • Paul’s plea for Onisimus – vss. 8-22
  • Final greetings–vss. 23-25

Although there are many ideas to discuss, three things stand out for me.

1    Paul clearly shows his love for Philemon and his admiration for all his good works.

2    Then, still honoring Philemon as a beloved brother, he tells him how much Onisimus means to him.  I cannot imagine how much Onisimus has changed from being a runaway slave to being a new Christian, who is willing to go back to his master to serve in that same capacity, no matter what happens as a consequence of his flight.  This is truly the “new man” (2 Cor. 5:17).

3    Finally, Paul is counting on Philemon to accept Onisimus back because he believes that Philemon also is a “new man.” He encourages him to accept Onisimus as a brother in Christ and not do to him what the law would allow him to do.

If we dealt with each other in such a way, the church would be so much better. Do we really love each other like Christ loves us? See: John 13:34John 13:35John  15:12John 15:17Rom. 12:10Rom. 13:8Gal. 5:13Eph. 4:21Thess. 3:121Thess. 4:9Heb. 10:241 Pet. 1:221 Pet. 3:81 John 3:111 John 3:231 John 4:71 John 4:111 John 4:122 John 1:5.

One strong point comes from Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor. 7:21-221 Cor. 9:19; and Gal. 1:10. New Christians in the first century often found themselves in this situation.  What was the right thing to do?  How were they to treat each other now that they had “freedom” in Christ?

Let me share the audio with five of my nineteen grandchildren singing a Bible verse that illustrates this point so well (We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 Jn. 3:16-18)). This should be a hot link to listen to the song.

–Beth Johnson


Eileen Light

This morning, when I checked on my friend, he told me a story about a young man who approached him about clearing brush and debris from the culverts on his ranch so the creek where his cows drink could flow freely. We had about 13 inches of rain, heavy rain two weeks ago, and trees, brush, and even a brand new tire washed up into the culverts. They negotiated the pay by the hour.

When the young man finished, he gave the amount of hours it took to complete the job; he lied. As it sometimes happens, my friend, who can see from his house across the highway, happened to look from his dining room window and knew exactly when the young man arrived at his gate for work. When the young man came to his house for his pay, he lied about the hours it took him to complete his task. My friend then told him he saw the time he arrived, and was it not his wife’s car at the gate? He had to confess; it was the truth.

My friend paid that which was due to the young man, but in the absence of honesty and integrity with a false weight and balance, the young man will never return again to work for him.

When we practice to deceive, we may get by with it once. Sooner or later one is caught in a web of their own making. False weights and balances are an abomination to God. Abomination, by definition, means “a detestable act.”

  • “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1).
  • “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I Am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:36).
  • “But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (Deuteronomy 25:15).
  • “Diverse weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 20:10).
  • “Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good” (Proverbs 20:23).
  • “Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights” (Micah 6:10-11)?
  • “He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress” (Hosea 12:7).
  • “Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit” (Amos 8:5)?
  • “He made a pit and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate” (Psalms 7:15-16).

“Doing mischief to hurt another returns to harm the mischief-maker. The pit he digs to entrap another becomes his own pitfall.

The writer alludes to a method of hunting wild beasts in ancient times. A pit would be dug and covered over with brush and leaves. As unsuspecting animals were driven over it they would fall through and be trapped.

The lesson is that the person who lays a deceptive plan for the destruction of others will be ensnared by his own devices. Such retribution is not uncommon among the crafty who are caught in the consequences of their own devilment. They become entangled in the recoils of their own cunning. They are trapped in self-dug pits. They are caught in self-made nets.

History is replete with examples. Many a Haman has been hanged on the gallows he prepared for another (Esther 7:10). Many a Judas has sold himself with his own kiss (Matthew 26:48).

No one can overestimate the danger of a crooked and mischievous policy. Neither can one overwhelm the worth of an open and straightforward coarse in dealing with others – both friends and foes.” ~ Leroy Brownlow

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful: to make the most of what we have: to be happy with simple pleasures: and have courage when things go wrong.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Eileen Light (


Why does the word matter?

John 1:1141 John 1:1 – Christ is “The Word” – Why That Emphasis?

2 Peter 1:3 – We Have All Truth That Pertains To Spiritual Life

John 16:13 – We Have All Spiritual Truth

John 14:10John 12:49-50 – God Is The Source

2 Peter 1:19-21 – More Certain Because It Comes Directly From God

Isa 55:10-11 God’s Word Is The Power

Mark 4:14 – The Seed Is The Word

Luke 8:21 – Brother If We Do the Word

John 17:17 – Synonymous With The Truth

James 1:18 – Gives Birth To Us

James 1:18 – Born By The Word Of Truth

1 Peter 1:23 – Gives Birth To Us

John 8:31-32 – Truth Freedom

2 Timothy 2:25-26 – Truth Escape The Devil

James 5:19-20 – Die, Stray From Truth

Romans 1:182425 – Wrath If Reject Truth

Romans 2:8 – Wrath If Reject Truth

2 Thess 2:10-12 – Damned If Reject Truth

John 12:48 – Judges Us

John 15:3 – Cleanses Us

Rom 10:17 – Gives Faith

Eph 5:26 – Sanctifies and Cleanses

Col 3:16 – Dwells Richly In Us

James 1:22-23 – Do The Word Or Be Lost

1 Peter 2:2 – Gives Growth

Rev 3:10 – Can Protect Us From Temptation

Psalm 119:130 – Gives Understanding

John 6:63 – Is Life And Gives Life

Matthew 4:4 – Gives Life

Heb 5:13 – Need To Become Skilful

Isaiah 29:13-14 – Teaching The Right Thing The Wrong Way

Jeremiah 23:21-22 – Teaching The Right Thing The Wrong Way

1 Corinthians 2:11,13 – Teaching The Things Of God In The Words Of The Holy Ghost

1 Peter 1:23-25 – God Preserves His Word

Matthew 5:18 – God Preserves His Word

Luke 21:33 – God Preserves His Word

Proverbs 30:5-6 – Don’t Corrupt God’s Word

Deuteronomy 4:2 – Don’t Corrupt God’s Word

Jeremiah 26:2 – Don’t Corrupt God’s Word

Deuteronomy 18:30 – Don’t Corrupt God’s Word

Revelation 22:18-19 – Don’t Corrupt God’s Word


The “Sinner’s Prayer” is not without its critics. Because no such prayer or conversion is found in the Bible, some evangelical scholars have even labeled the sinner’s prayer a “cataract of nonsense” and an “apostasy.”  More than one pulpit minister has raised questions over the authenticity of the conversions of people using the sinner’s prayer based on research by George Barna.[i]

An early proponent of the sinner’s prayer was the well-known American evangelist Dwight L. Moody.[2]

Billy Graham[iii]

Continue reading THE SINNER’S PRAYER