We are launching a new page on our website that will have the resources for the week and will have the most updated version of the schedule for the Fall on the bottom. If you would like to bookmark the page, it is https://stonebriar.org/ecv.
Please arrive by 8:30 a.m. Downloadable PDF Lesson Plans for 9 a.m. Service:
Please arrive by 10:15 a.m. Downloadable PDF Lesson Plans for 10:45 a.m. Service:
Paul was a prisoner under house arrest in Rome when a man named Onesimus (oh NESS ih muhs) came to visit him. Onesimus was a slave who had run away from a wealthy man named Philemon. As it turned out, Paul was a friend of Philemon. So when Paul told Onesimus the good news about Jesus and Onesimus believed, Paul desired reconciliation between Onesimus and Philemon—now brothers in Christ.
So Paul wrote a letter and told Onesimus to take it to Philemon. The Book of Philemon is the letter written by Paul to Philemon. Though Onesimus had become dear to him, and Paul wanted Onesimus to stay with him in Rome, Paul sent him back to Philemon with his letter.
In the letter, Paul urged Philemon to show kindness to Onesimus and treat him as a fellow brother in Christ. Paul even offered to pay Onesimus’s debt for him. Though Paul could have used his authority as an apostle of Christ to force Philemon to do what he wanted, Paul instead appealed to him as a friend and a fellow believer. He urged Philemon to treat Onesimus as if he were Paul himself—with love and kindness.
Paul offered to pay Onesimus’s debt to make peace between him and Philemon. In this way, Paul acted like Jesus, who makes peace between God and humanity. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sin, paying our debt so that we can be forgiven and welcomed into God’s family as brothers and sisters of Jesus. (See Heb. 2:11.)
Paul’s letter serves as a reminder to us that everyone is equal before Jesus. People from completely different backgrounds—like Paul, a former Jewish leader; Onesimus, a runaway slave; and Philemon, a Gentile slavemaster—are brought together by the gospel under the lordship of Jesus Christ. In light of God’s love for us, we can be loving, kind, and forgiving to our brothers and sisters in Christ for the glory of God.
The volunteer schedule, including adults and youth volunteers, is available below.