This is Amazing Grace


“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14


The term grace has been applied many different ways to many different circumstances, and has also been interpreted many different ways. We know the standard definition of God’s grace to be the “unmerited favor of God”, or in other words, that which you didn’t earn or deserve but was given to you anyway. Paul writes a letter to a man named Philemon in which he pleads the case for a runaway slave named Onesimus. Apparently, Onesimus had become slothful and unusable in the eyes of Philemon. But, when Onesimus tried to run from his problems, he ran straight into Paul, the aged, faithful servant of God who was awaiting his execution. It is here that Onesimus has a real encounter with the grace of God.


When Paul met Onesimus there is no doubt that he preached Jesus unto him and told him what he told his son in the faith Titus, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared unto all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present age…” It was at this moment that things began to change for Onesimus, because not only had he met Paul, but Paul had introduced him to grace that took human form and then laid that life down so that I could have life. Onesimus is changed forever because of his encounter with grace that didn’t see him as unworthy, unlovable or unusable. According to Paul’s letter, God’s grace elevated Onesimus from slave to brother.


The greatest part of this story is what happens after Paul’s death. At some point after Timothy leaves Ephesus, the runaway slave that was to Philemon unworthy became the Bishop of Ephesus, one of the greatest New Testament churches. God’s grace transformed Onesimus from unworthy to worthy, from unusable to Pastor of an incredible church. God is looking for a Paul today that is willing to look beyond the outward appearance of people and see the redeeming work that God wants to do in them. He is also looking for an Onesimus that recognizes their need for a savior and is willing let go of their past in order to see God transform their lives and open doors of opportunity for them. Grace makes it possible for God redeem any person regardless of their past sins or mistakes.


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