The Portrait Of Free Salvation

Bible Book: Philemon  1 : 18-20
Subject: Salvation; Sin; Forgiveness

Philemon 1:18-21 (KJV), “ If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.”

In this passage we see how our sins were taken up by Jesus Christ. We can see how he took on the payment of my sins and took my place, thereby allowing me to go free.

The Penalty of my Sins

a. I am separated because of my sin
b. I am sentenced because of my sin

The Payment of my Sins

a. Jesus stood up for me
b. Jesus stood in for me

I. The Regretful Penalty That Faced Onesimus

It seems as if Onesimus may have stolen from Philemon upon his departure. In doing so he would be treated as a criminal in the eyes of Philemon. The penalty that he would face would be rough and harsh. I believe that Onesimus had often regretted what he had done in leaving his master.

A. The Sinful Dealings That Is Mentioned

I believe that this is a wonderful depiction of the gospel story. The sins of a lost sinner separate him from being in good standing with God. The sins of Onesimus had placed him in very tragic standing with Philemon.

B. The Sinful Departure That Is Magnified

In falling into sin mankind tragically departed from fellowship with God. The day that Onesimus chose to flee he was looked upon in a different way in the eyes of his master. I dare say that this is the story of fallen mankind.

II. The Righteous Person That Favored Onesimus

In meeting the apostle of Jesus Onesimus had found a friend that would greatly pull for his forgiveness and his reconciliation with his master. I am so thankful for Jesus triumphantly pulling for me in my salvation and standing with God.

A. Someone Stood In On His Behalf

Paul willingly stood up for Onesimus and represented him. It was not the worth of Onesimus that afforded Philemon to forgive Onesimus, but the worth of his representative. I see the gospel story in this simple illustration. One day Jesus allowed his worth to get me in good standing with God.

B. Someone Spoke Up On His Behalf

Onesimus had an advocate that appealed to Philemon; it was his words that would afford him full and free forgiveness. I remember the day when Jesus spoke up on my behalf; it was not my words that afforded God to allow me into his family and fold, but the loving words of my precious savior.

III. The Redemptive Payment That Freed Onesimus

In this account we see that Paul appealed to Philemon to place anything owed to him concerning Philemon upon his personal account. In this we see the great doctrine of imputation. Paul desired that the bill for Onesimus transgressions be placed upon his account. It did not mean that the sins were to be overlooked, but it did mean that in the eyes of Philemon, Onesimus was completely free of guilt. It was on the cross that Jesus paid my sin payment and if God says I don’t know about so and so, Jesus says if you count me worthy please also count him worthy.

A. The Debt of Onesimus - Dependent of Another’s Account

The debt of Onesimus was placed upon the credit account of Paul and he was in good standing for the payment. The debt of my sin has been resolved due to Jesus Christ dying on the cruel cross.

B. The Destiny of Onesimus - Dependant of Another’s Acceptance

The destiny of Onesimus was dependent of someone else accepting him into the fold. The day that I got saved it was up to God to accept me into his family and he did this not because of my worth but upon the worth of his precious son. Jesus willing paid my payment but it was totally up to God to accept this payment and to declare me in good standing.


I am so glad that Jesus Christ stood up for me and then he willingly stood in for me. I do not understand this type of love but I am so glad that it was afforded to me as a lost sinner.