Philemon 17 & 18
Although Philemon is the shortest letter we have in Scripture written by the Apostle Paul, it may well be the most powerful. It is a wonderful picture of salvation as well as a lesson in Christian charity, compassion, and forgiveness. The three main characters of the letter are Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus. Paul at the time of these circumstances was in Rome, most likely in prison or house arrest. Philemon was a Christian man, probably of some wealth, who hosted a church (in Colosse) in his house. He and Paul were very close. Onesimus was a servant of Philemon who had robbed him and fled to Rome. While in Rome, he came into contact with Paul and was converted. The letter we have in the Bible is the letter Paul wrote to Philemon requesting that he reinstate Onesimus to his previous position, and receive him as a brother in Christ.
In the two verses before us today, there is a wonderful example of what Christ did for us when He saved our souls. Like Onesimus, we were guilty with nothing to say in our defense. We deserved judgment for our sins in the sight of a Holy God. Like Paul in this letter, Jesus went to the Father and pled our case. His pleas were not based upon our worth or value but they were solely based upon Himself. He, the perfect, sinless, righteous Son of God, took upon Himself all of our sin, guilt, and shame. He put all of our wrongs on His account (vs.18). Jesus also asked the Father to receive us as He would be received (vs.17). Because He paid for all of our sin, we are made righteous through His finished work on Calvary. Because of this, God looks upon us as justified souls who are in Christ. We have been given His righteousness in exchange for our wickedness. Hallelujah!!! The old account is settled!!!
There was a time on earth when in the book of heaven
An old account was standing for sins yet unforgiven
My name was at the top and many things below
I went unto the Keeper and settled long ago
Long ago, Long ago, yes, the old account was settled long ago
And the record’s clear today for He washed my sins away
When the old account was settled long ago