Part 6 – Born to Serve Like Jesus
Onesimus has experienced a true spiritual conversion. There are bits of evidence given by what Paul says in his Letter to Philemon that would indicate this. One is that Onesimus, a runaway slave, is now willingly 'serving' Paul in a most helpful manner. You would think that a runaway slave would surely 'run away' from that kind of life forever, yet here we read that he is willing and apparently serving Paul. Secondly, we see that Paul indicates that Paul is reluctant to send Onesimus back to Philemon because not only has Onesimus been so helpful, but 'he (Onesimus) is my (Paul's) very heart'. Paul has become very attached to Onesimus because they are of like mind and spirit spiritually. These are two powerful signs that Onesimus has truly been transformed and repurposed by the Spirit of Christ.
This example reminds us how important it is for we as believers to be of like mind with those that we are serving and worshiping with. A divided mind or mission will only bring discord. If is totally possible to have a different vision and goal regarding the kingdom of God than another believer, but if that is the case, then more than likely the Lord will want you to be serving elsewhere – someplace where others are of like mind and spirit.
The most important lesson found in these verses is in regards to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that causes the selfish sinner to become a willing and joyful servant of the Living God. Before our conversion we are all slaves – slaves to the world, the devil, our sinful nature and the flesh. But the truth is, once we are converted to a saving faith in Christ we remain slaves, but now we are slaves/servants, bondservants/love slaves to our Lord Jesus Christ. No longer 'forced' to slave after a hard task master, but now joyfully serving the King of kings who is a loving and gracious Master. Onesimus is a fine example of one who now joyfully serves his new Master – not Paul or Philemon, but Jesus Christ, but it is shown through his willing service to Paul, and soon to his earthly master – Philemon. Let us all have hearts that joyfully serves the Lord by serving others.
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