THE EPISTLE OF PAUL
Author: Paul the apostle with Timothy the brother (v. 1).
Time of Writing: Approximately A.D. 64, shortly before Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment (vv. 9, 22).
Place of Writing: A Roman prison; see verses in the previous item.
Recipients: Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, and the church, which was in their house (vv. 1-2).
An Illustration of the Believers' Equal Status
in the New Man
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy the brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow worker
2 And to Apphia the sister and to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church, which is in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. A Slave Reborn to Be a Brother
4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,
5 Hearing of your love and the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and to all the saints,
6 That the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the full knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ.
7 For I had much joy and encouragement over your love, because the inward parts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8 Therefore though I have much boldness in Christ to charge you what is fitting,
9 Because of love I rather entreat, being such a one as Paul the aged and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus.
10 I entreat you concerning my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus,
11 Who formerly was useless to you but now is useful both to you and to me.
12 Him I have sent back to you -- him, that is, my very heart --
13 Whom I intended to keep with myself that on your behalf he might minister to me in the bonds of the gospel.
14 But without your mind I did not want to do anything, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but voluntary.
15 For perhaps for this reason he was separated from you for but an hour, that you might fully have him forever,
16 No longer as a slave, but above a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
III. A Brother Recommended for
the New Man's Acceptance
17 If then you hold me as a partner, receive him as myself.
18 And if he has wronged you in anything or owes anything, charge that to my account.
19 I, Paul, have written with my own hand: I will repay; not to say to you that you owe me even your own self besides.
20 Yes, brother, may I have profit from you in the Lord; refresh my inward parts in Christ.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I have written to you, knowing that you will do even beyond the things that I say.
22 And at the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you;
24 As do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.