Philemon chapter 1

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4I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; 6That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. 8Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 9Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? 17If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 21Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. 22But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. 23There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 24Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 25The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

What does Philemon chapter 1 mean?

Philemon chapter 1 is the first and only chapter of Philemon, the shortest of the apostle Paul's 13 letters. A large portion of the letter addresses the Roman practice of slavery, specifically in the life of a man named Onesimus. This man was a runaway slave of Philemon, a church leader in Colossae.

Paul's letter to Philemon includes five main parts: An introduction (Philemon 1:1–3), encouragement to Philemon (Philemon 1:4–7), a request regarding the runaway slave Onesimus (Philemon 1:8–16), a pledge to Philemon from Paul (Philemon 1:17–22), and a brief conclusion (Philemon 1:23–25).

In the introduction, Paul clearly identifies himself as the letter's author, calling himself a prisoner. This letter was written during Paul's two-year house arrest in Rome and is considered one of four Prison Epistles. It seems to have been co-written with Timothy (Philemon 1:1). The main recipient was Philemon, but it is also meant for Apphia and Archippus, probably Philemon's wife and son. It also mentions the house church in their home in Colossae. It includes Paul's standard greeting, "Grace and peace to you."

Philemon 1:4–7 encourages Philemon in many ways. Paul confesses his regular prayers for Philemon, and compliments him on his love, faith, and willingness to share his faith. This section also suggests that Philemon had provided financial assistance to Paul in the past (Philemon 1:7).

Verses 8–16 address a special request of Philemon. Though Onesimus could have been punished or even put to death for running away, Paul urges forgiveness and freedom. He explains that Onesimus had come to faith in Jesus during his time with Paul and wanted to be useful. This is an example of wordplay, as the name Onesimus itself means "useful."

Verses 17–21 display how serious Paul is about his request. He strongly asks Philemon to treat any wrongs or debts of Onesimus as those of Paul himself. Paul essentially signs himself to an obligation to make up for anything Onesimus' escape has cost Philemon. Paul also shares his plans to soon visit Colossae (Philemon 1:22).

Verses 23–25 conclude the brief letter to Philemon, mentioning five additional fellow workers in addition to Timothy, who was mentioned in verse 1. He then ends with, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit," a common conclusion used by Paul.
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