In Philemon:18 the Apostle Paul speaks of the debts that the runaway slave, Onesimus, owed to Philemon: “charge that to my account.” We see in the Apostle Paul an analogy of what Christ has done for us. We are like the slave Onesimus; we have transgressed and are in debt. Jesus is like the Apostle Paul in this passage; He has an account with the debt-holder which is plenty enough to pay the debt which was owed. Onesimus was blessed to have someone like Paul, who would declare of his debts: “charge that to my account.” In the same way, WE are blessed to have Jesus say for the debt of our sins: “charge that to My account!”
But we would be remiss if we did not highlight a second application, regarding the debts that OTHERS owe US.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” We are to forgive others’ debts, just like OURS have been forgiven by the Lord. We need to remember that WE are not the only ones for whom Jesus is pleading, “charge that to My account.” We need to realize that like Paul spoke to Philemon as the holder of Onesimus’ debts, the Lord is speaking to US as those to whom debts are owed by others. Has someone hurt you? Are they in your “debt” spiritually, and you find it hard to forgive them? You need to listen to the voice of Jesus in these verses, saying as clearly to you as Paul did to Philemon: “Charge that to my account.” The same Jesus who paid your debt has paid theirs, and enjoins you to forgive them the same way which you have been so graciously forgiven. It is both for you and for those who “owe” you, for whom Jesus pleads: “Charge that to My account.”
I served as pastor of Southern Baptist churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana for almost 30 years before taking a medical leave from the pastorate in February 2013 due to dysautonomia (POTS) and moving to Norman, Oklahoma. Blessed with renewed health, I was called as Senior Pastor of Pleasant Ridge Baptist in Morganton, NC in February 2015.
In this blog I share daily devotions from my own personal Bible readings, as well as sermons, book reviews, illustrations -- and occasional humorous "peeks" at life inside this pastor's home!
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