1:1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our dear friend and colaborer, 1:2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your house. 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks for Philemon’s Love and Faith
1:4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 1:5 because I hear of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 1:6 I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. 1:7 I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Paul’s Request for Onesimus
1:8 So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, 1:9 I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love – I, Paul, an old man and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus – 1:10 I am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, Onesimus, 1:11 who was formerly useless to you, but is now useful to you and me. 1:12 I have sent him (who is my very heart) back to you. 1:13 I wanted to keep him so that he could serve me in your place during my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. 1:14 However, without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your good deed would not be out of compulsion, but from your own willingness. 1:15 For perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a little while, so that you would have him back eternally, 1:16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a dear brother. He is especially so to me, and even more so to you now, both humanly speaking and in the Lord. 1:17 Therefore if you regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me. 1:18 Now if he has defrauded you of anything or
owes you anything, charge what he owes to me. 1:19 I, Paul, have written this letter with my own hand: I will repay it. I could also mention that you owe me your very self. 1:20 Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 1:21 Since I was confident that you would obey, I wrote to you, because I knew that you would do even more than what I am asking you to do. 1:22 At the same time also, prepare a place for me to stay, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.
1:23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 1:24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my colaborers, greet you too. 1:25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.