In our last visit we began a focus and amplify study of the New Testament book of Philemon, written by the apostle Paul. It is the shortest of his books, just one chapter in length. I identified the focus as being: Forgiveness is a test and testimony of Christian love and faith.
Now lets see how Paul amplifies this focus. Main points are often determined by paragraph breakdowns in the text. The translators determine the paragraph breakdowns, so different translations might not be the same. For my study of Philemon, I followed the William’s translation. His paragraphs start with verses 1, 4, 8, 21, 23 and 25.
The first paragraph (verses 1-3) is an introduction. Paul writes as though this is a family affair with brothers and sisters. As in any family, God’s grace and peace are necessary for things to go well. The last two paragraphs, (verses 23-25) are concluding personal remarks including greetings and the wish for God’s blessing on Philemon. That leaves three paragraphs which present three main points that amplify the focus.
1. Verses 4-7 present Paul’s confining approach.
2. Verses 8-20 present Paul’s convincing argument.
3. Verses 21-22 present Paul’s confident anticipation.
With these main points down you can now develop an outline based on the information in this book. Remember that the focus is: Forgiveness is a test and testimony of Christian love and faith.
The introduction emphasizes this is a family affair, needing God’s grace and peace. Paul makes it clear that Philemon and Onesimus are his brothers in Christ and expects them to relate as a family.