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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 17, 2011
An Appeal to Forgive & Accept
Turn again this morning to Paul’s letter to Philemon. You will find it between Titus & Hebrews. As this is a short letter of just 25 verses, I would like to begin by reading through the text.
1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved [brother] and fellow worker, 2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6 [and I pray] that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you [to do] that which is proper, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal [to you]– since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus– 10 I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus, 11 who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me. 12 And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, [sending] my very heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps he was for this reason parted [from you] for a while, that you should have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 If then you regard me a partner, accept him as [you would] me. 18 But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well). 20 Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say. 22 And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be 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.
Paul is writing to Philemon because his runaway slave, Onesimus, had come to Paul in Rome. Onesimus had been a fairly useless slave (vs. 11) and probably had stolen from his master (18). But Onesimus had become a Christian and was now very useful and had become dear to Paul. It was right that Onesimus return to his master, but there were two great dangers that he would face that Paul was seeking to alleviate.
The first danger was capture by the Fugitivarii, the professional slave catchers. They would brand him with an “F” or “FUR” for “fugitivus,” meaning “runaway.” They might also break some of his bones or joints so that he could not run away again. This danger was eliminated by having Onesimus travel back to Colossae with Epaphroditus who was delivering Paul’s letters to the Ephesians and to the Colossians.
The second danger was what Philemon might do to Onesimus upon his return. It was not uncommon for a returned slave to be beaten or scourged as a warning to other slaves. In some cases they might even be executed as an extreme warning. The purpose of Paul’s letter was to remove this danger and appeal to Philemon to accept Onesimus back as one who was more than a slave for he was now also a brother in Christ. Paul asks Philemon to accept Onesimus as he would Paul.
In our study last week of the first 9 verses of this letter, we found that Paul had a great confidence in Philemon whom he addresses as “beloved,” a “fellow worker,” and as a “brother.” They had probably met when Paul when in Ephesus for two years teaching at the school of Tyrannus. The church at Colossae met at Philemon’s house and he was noted for his faith in the Lord Jesus, his love for all the saints and ability to refresh people’s spirits (vs. 2, 5 & 7). Paul is confident that he will apply his knowledge of the Lord and follow His example in dealing with Onesimus with mercy and grace. (See: Foundations for an Appeal)
For Love’s Sake (vs. 8-9)
Paul clearly expresses his confidence in Philemon in verse 8 & 9 which we looked at last week, but these verses are also the beginning of his appeal. 8 “Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you [to do] that which is proper, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal [to you]– since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus-.”
Paul knew that due to his position and authority he could have commanded Philemon to do what was proper, but Paul refuses to use that authority with him. He does not even identify himself as “Paul, an apostle . . .” as he does in nearly all of his other letters. Instead, he humbly cites himself as “Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus.” Though Paul was only in his 50’s at this point, his body had aged due to all that he had suffered for the sake of the gospel including his present imprisonment. Perhaps those things might have elicited sympathy from Philemon, but they are without demands. Paul was making his appeal without any coercion, but strictly on the basis of love – “. . . for love’s sake I rather appeal.”
Righteousness and Slavery
Now before we go any further, I need to address the underlying question that comes to the mind of twenty-first century Americans when they read this letter. For many generations our society has been taught that slavery is one of the greatest evils and ending that evil was the justification for our “civil war” 150 years ago. It is also used as the continued justification for all sorts social programs that are supposed to be correcting the effects of that evil. The result of this is that American Christians seemed to be shocked that Paul is sending Onesimus, a runaway slave, back to his master.
Sadly, popular culture has nearly replaced all Biblical discernment in regards to the subject of slavery. I was shocked by how many commentators tried to justify Paul with things that are not in the text or are even contrary to the text. Several assumed Paul was against slavery but tried to explain why he could not speak out directly against it such as it would be too dangerous for the slaves if he incited a slave revolt. Several suggested that Paul was seeking to subvert slavery by sending Onesimus back as “more than a slave, a beloved brother.” One writer, who I had previously thought
was evangelical, even claimed this as an affirmation of the universal brotherhood of man, a pagan idea contrary to the Scriptures’ clear dichotomy between the righteous and the unrighteous, the children of God and the children of the devil. While all humans are biologically related as descendants of Adam & Eve, there are two distinct spiritual families and therefore no universal brotherhood.
To put it simply, Paul did not speak out directly against slavery because he was well aware that the Scriptures are not directly against it. The Law of Moses gives many regulations concerning slavery including who could be enslaved, the length of time different people could be enslaved and the proper treatment of slaves. Moses prohibited slavery by means of man capture (kidnaping) since he made it a capital offense (Exodus 21:16 & Deuteronomy 24:7). But slaves could be gained as the result of war (Deuteronomy 21:10) or they could be purchased from the pagan nations (Leviticus 25:44). Foreign slaves could be held permanently and even be bequeathed to the next generation. Hebrew slaves could also be purchased (Exodus 21:2), but Hebrew slaves could serve for only six years and were to then be set free on the seventh and be given the means of immediate support (Deuteronomy 15:12). A Hebrew could sell himself or a family member to pay off debt. This was their welfare system of last resort. This was effective because a person would be careful of debt to avoid becoming a slave and would become even more diligent to learn their lesson if they did become a slave so that they would not repeat the process again in the future after they were freed.
There were many regulations regarding the treatment of slaves. Here are few of them. They were to be provided for and a female slave that was either captured or purchased as a wife was to be treated as such or be set free (Exodus 21:11; Deuteronomy 21:10-14). While physical discipline was allowed, maiming was not and a slave that was severely injured such as losing an eye or a tooth was to be set free (Exodus 12:26-27). A master who murdered his slave would be punished (Exodus 21:20). Slaves were guaranteed the right of a Sabbath rest and to share in the religious feasts (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 12:12; 16:10-14). There was even a law concerning the protection of and provision for run away slaves (Deuteronomy 23:15).
Paul refers to slavery many times in his writings. Often he uses slavery as analogy of a person’s spiritual condition. This is negative when used in reference to bondage to sin (Romans 6:6) or to hedonism (Romans 16:18). It is positive when used in reference to being a slave of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 6:6) or to righteousness (Romans 6:18). He uses the term figuratively as a reference to submission or yielding such as in 1 Corinthians 9:27 stating he buffeted his body to “make it my slave,” or in 1 Corinthians 9:19 where Paul refers to himself being made “a slave to all, that I might win the more.”
Paul also speaks of slaves in the literal sense of those in bondage to others. Paul’s attitude toward it is probably most clearly seen in 1 Corinthians 7:21 – “Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.” . Gaining freedom would be great if the opportunity was present, but if not, being a slave was not the most crucial thing in life. Living for Christ is what is most important. As Christians we are all His slaves and yet also free in Him regardless of our social standing or circumstances (Galatians 3:28). This is why Paul is consistent in instructing slaves to serve their masters well. Consider these passages.
Ephesians 6:5-8: “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”
Colossians 3:22-24: “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who [merely] please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
1 Timothy 6:1-2: “Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and [our] doctrine may not be spoken against. 2 And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these [principles.]”
Paul is sending Onesimus, a slave, back to Philemon, his master, because it is right before the Lord. The reason American sensitivities are offended at this is because we have been taught a political rather than a Biblical understanding of slavery. Not only has our national history been perverted by this, but present political actions are still skewed by it. Past American slavery is usually brought up and disparaged as a political effort to empower and /or control particular voting blocks. And most tragically, those most vocal about how bad our past was are the ones most likely to ignore the modern slave trade active in northern Africa and the Islamic countries.
As Christians we must be diligent students of God’s word and frame our understanding of the world, past, present and future according to it. Only then can we correct and stand firm against the errors that come against us including those commonly believed in our own society. God, not culture, determines truth and righteousness.
Turn back now to Philemon and let us see how Paul made his appeal to him to forgive and accept back Onesimus. It is a good model for us to follow when we make an appeal for forgiveness.
An Appeal for a Slave (vs. 10-20)
Paul’s Relationship to Onesimus (vs. 10 & 12). Paul begins his appeal by stating his relationship to Onesimus. I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus. Again, we do not know how Onesimus ended up visiting Paul in prison other than God’s gracious providence. As Acts 28:31 states, Paul would have preached to him the kingdom of God and taught him concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Onesimus responded to the gospel, was converted and became a Christian. Since it was through Paul’s ministry that he was saved from his sin, Paul refers to him in the same way as he does for Timothy and Titus as his “child.”
In verse 12 Paul expresses how close Onesimus had become to him. “And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, [sending] my very heart.” Paul’s expression here let Philemon know that Onesimus had become very dear to him in a relatively short time. Again we find that the English versions translate this word (splagcnon / splagchnon), which actually refers to the bowels, as “heart” since that is the organ we describe as being the seat of emotion. Sending Onesimus back was not easy for Paul. He would be missed greatly.
This is a great way to state an appeal. Paul is direct in stating what he is doing. Too often people are so hesitant in stating what they are doing and what they want that the message is lost in the euphemisms and veiled comments. Paul wisely mentions his relationship to the person on whose behalf he was making an appeal before mentioning Onesimus’ name. This presents him in a much more favorable light. Philemon would be recept
ive to someone who was close to Paul, but his thoughts toward Onesimus would certainly have been negative otherwise, perhaps enough so to have blocked out Paul’s request before he even made it.
While Paul does not tell us all the reasons for Onesimus being so dear to him, he does state a couple of them in verses 11 & 13
The Useless is Now Useful (vs. 11 & 13). Paul says of Onesimus “who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.” He is more specific in verse 13, “whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel.”
Paul reveals that Onesimus had previously been a useless slave, but in becoming a Christian he has been converted in character including in his service and he was now useful to Paul. There is a word play in this statement. The name Onesimus comes from a word (onhsiV / on sis) that means “profit.” This was a fairy common name for slaves during that time period. The word useful here (eucrhstoV / euchrestos) expresses “good profit,” and useless (acrhstoV / achrestos) is “without profit.” Onesimus, who by name should have been profitable, but was instead without profit. By his conversion he had become good profit for Paul and would also be so for Philemon.
Paul stresses this usefulness by stating his wish that Onesimus could have stayed with him to continue in his ministry. We are not told what specific ministry, but with Paul in prison there were many things that he could do on Paul’s behalf that would be very useful. This revelation of Onesimus’s changed character and value would make Philemon more receptive to the request of the appeal. If Onesimus’ character had remained the same, there would be little reason to forgive and accept him back
Paul also acknowledges that as Philemon’s slave, any ministry Onesimus’ performed would be on behalf of Philemon. Paul is making sure that it is clear that he understands Onesimus’ proper position as Philemon’s slave. Onesimus did not have the right to serve Paul except on behalf of Philemon. Paul makes this even more clear in the next verse.
Without Compulsion (vs. 14) – “but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.” The context of Paul’s statement that he did not “want to do anything” without Philemon’s consent limits it to being in reference to what Onesimus would do. Paul makes it very clear that anything that happened with Onesimus was totally up to Philemon. Paul’s appeal is without compulsion. He will place no pressure on Philemon to respond in a certain way out of obligation to him. Any decision Philemon makes will be one made by his own free will according to his own character which Paul acknowledges as being one of goodness.
An appeal for forgiveness, even when on behalf of someone else, cannot coerce or place an obligation on the one to whom the appeal is made. You need to approach the person with humility, present the reasons and then leave the decision in their hands. That is the approach David takes in Psalm 51 when he implores God for forgiveness for his many sins. Every appeal is made based on God’s character and rests in His sovereign decision.
Without Condition (vs. 15) Paul further emphasizes the point that he is not placing any condition on Philemon in verse 15. “For perhaps he was for this reason parted [from you] for a while, that you should have him back forever.” Paul suggests a reason in God’s providence that Onesimus had runaway. While it was sin on Onesimus’ part, God’s hand was still at work to bring out something good for Philemon. He would return permanently and Paul already pointed out that he would now live up to his name and be profitable.
While we will not know until we are with the Lord in eternity His reasons for the twists and turns in His providence, it is still good to strive to understand what good God has brought about by the circumstances of our lives. It was certainly bad for Philemon to have his slave run away and probably steal from him at the same time, but God was not surprised. Onesimus acted upon his sinful nature and wronged Philemon, yet God still used the resulting circumstances to bring Onesimus to a full recognition of his sin and bring him to conversion. He who had been dead in transgressions and sin was made alive with Christ and forgiven (Colossians 2:13). He was returning as a different man. Romans 8:28 is not a cliche but a wonderful truth. God does cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Philemon loved God and was called according to His purpose and the return of Onesimus as a changed man was one of the many good things God had caused to work together for good in his life.
A New Relationship (vs. 16). Onesimus was a radically changed man both in his relationship to the Lord as an adopted son, but also a changed relationship to Philemon as Paul states in verse 16. Onesimus was “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” This is not a statement of manumission as some have tried to make it – “no longer a slave.” The idea that Paul wanted Philemon to free Onesimus is absent from the entire letter not just this verse. The grammar of this first phrase is a statement of subjective appraisal – “no longer as a slave.” He was still a slave, and as the previous verse stated – forever, permanently. This idea of Onesimus continuing as a slave may be hard for Americans to swallow, but it is what Paul said in this letter consistent with his teaching in his other letters.
The good news was that Onesimus was no longer to be regarded as a mere slave. There was a wonderful change in the relationship. Onesimus was now also a brother in the Lord to Paul and Philemon. He had already become beloved to Paul, and Paul is confident that he will be even more so to Philemon. Paul expected Onesimus to serve Philemon all the more because of the bond of spiritual brotherhood (1Timothy 6:2). If that commitment to diligent work is true for a Christian slave toward a Christian master, how much more should it be true of a Christian employee toward a Christian employer.
The Appeal (vs. 17). Paul’s actual appeal is in verse 17. “If then you regard me a partner, accept him as [you would] me.” Paul’s request of Philemon was that he accept Onesimus back as a brother in the Lord just as he would Paul. That is actually quite a request when it is remembered that Onesimus was a runaway slave and probably a thief too. But Paul has made his case that Onesimus was no longer the same man. He was now a fellow believer who had proved himself to be useful to Paul and so would be even more so to Philemon as a brother in the Lord.
The Promise (vs. 18-19). In verses 18 & 19 Paul makes sure any past obligation would also be taken care of. “But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well).” Paul is emphatic that he would repay the cost of any past wrong Onesimus has committed. We know little of Paul’s finances while in prison other than the gift received from the Philippians, but this is not an empty gesture. The phrasing of verse 19 that he was writing with his own hand is that of a promissary note.
The last phrase is a paralipsis – a passing over of a matter actually mentioned. Philemon was well aware of the obligation that he had toward Paul since he also had been converted as a result of Paul’s ministry, but Paul
mentions it here to assure him that his offer to repay was genuine and the matter was in Philemon’s hands.
The Benefit (vs. 20). “Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.” Paul so closely identified himself with Onesimus that he expected that he himself would benefit from and be refreshed by Philemon’s response. There is another word play here. The word for “benefit” (oninhmi / onin mi) is the root word for the name “Onesimus.” The implied pun would be something like, Paul would get benefit when Philemon received Beneficial.
Paul’s Hopes (vs 21-22)
Philemon’s Response (vs. 21) Paul knew Philemon well enough to be confident in his response. “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.” Paul expected that Philemon would not only grant the appeal for Onesimus, but even go beyond it in carrying it out wholeheartedly. Paul left the matter totally in Philemon’s hands, nevertheless, he was confident in what he would do and so stated it.
A Future Visit (vs. 22). Paul also expressed his own hope for the future. “And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.” In his letter to the Philippians written at the same time period as Philemon, Paul said, “For I know this shall turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ. . .” A similar thought is expressed here of his hope to be freed from prison and to travel back to see and strengthen the believers he had ministered to previously as well as continue to expand ministry to new places.
Greetings (vs 23-24). It was common for Paul to include the greetings of those who were with him that knew who he was writing and verses 23-24 do that here. “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 [as do] Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.” We have discussed each of these men in our study of Colossians a few weeks ago so I will not do so again this morning.
Paul’s Benediction (vs. 25). Paul closes with an expression of blessing to all he had addressed in the letter. This is very similar to how Paul usually ends his letters and very similar to his salutation. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” This is a wish that Christians should commonly extend to one another. May the manifold blessings we do not deserve that come from our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Count how man times Onesimus is mentioned by name. Discuss with your parents why it was right for him to return to his master, Philemon.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What dangers did Onesimus face as a runaway slave? How did Paul alleviate those dangers? What indications are there that Paul knew Philemon well? Where would they have met? Why wouldn’t Paul use his authority to simply command Philemon what to do? What principle does this give church leaders? Why was it right for Paul to send Onesimus back as a slave? Why does that fact shock most Americans? What does the Old Testament teach about slavery – how could slaves be legitimately acquired? How long could a slave be kept? How were slaves to be treated? What instructions does Paul give to slaves? Why wasn’t slavery an important issue to Paul? (See 1 Cor. 7:21-22). Is your understanding of slavery Biblical or political? What was Paul’s relationship to Onesimus? How had he become useful? How have you seen God work things together for good in your life? In what ways would Onesimus being a believer change his relationship with Philemon? What specifically was Paul’s appeal to Philemon? Why did Paul promise to repay any wrongs Onesimus had committed? What was Paul’s hope for the future? What lessons can you apply in your own life in making appeals to others from Paul’s example to Philemon?
Sermon Notes – 7/10/2011 –
An Appeal to Forgive & Accept – Philemon 8-25
Paul is writing to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway ______________
By traveling with _________, Onesimus would no longer be in danger of being caught by the Fugitivarii
Paul’s letter is an appeal to _______________ to accept back Onesimus as a brother in Christ
Paul knew Philemon well and considered him “beloved,” a “fellow worker” and a “____________”
For Love’s Sake (vs. 8-9)
Paul had authority to ______________ Philemon to do what was right
For love’s sake Paul only _____________
Righteousness and Slavery
_________________ are usually shocked by Paul sending Onesimus, a slave, back to his master
Many commentators try to soften, explain away or even change Paul’s __________ actions
The Law of Moses _______________ slavery, but did not prohibit it.
Man capture was a capital offense, but ____________could be acquired as a result of war or by purchase
Foreign slaves could be held _________________, but Hebrew slaves for only a limited number of years
A Hebrew could sell himself or a relative to pay ___________ – it was their welfare system of last resort
There were many regulations regarding the _______________ of slaves
Paul refers to slavery in several different ways:
As a ____________ of speech signifying submission or yielding – 1 Corinthians 9:19, 27
To those ______________ in bondage – 1 Corinthians 7:21-22
Living for Christ, not status as a slave or freeman was the crucial ______________ for Paul
Paul sent Onesimus back as a slave to his master because it was ____________ before the Lord
We must be diligent students of the ______________ and frame our understanding of the world by it.
An Appeal for a Slave (vs. 10-20)
Paul’s Relationship to Onesimus (vs. 10 & 12)
Onesimus responded to the gospel and was _________________ through Paul’s ministry
Onesimus had become very ____________ to Paul and it was emotionally difficult to send him back
The Useless is Now Useful (vs. 11 & 13)
Onesimus, whose name means “_____________,” had been a useless slave – one without profit
e a useful slave – “of ________________ ” – ministering to Paul
Any ministry by a slave would be done on behalf of his ______________
Without Compulsion (vs. 14)
Paul would not do anything in regard to Onesimus without Philemon’s _____________
An appeal needs to be made from a position of ______________that leaves the decision in their hands
Without Condition (vs. 15)
While Onesimus’ actions were ____________, God was still at work to cause good for Philemon
Romans 8:28 is a wonderful ___________, not a cliche, of which Onesimus is an example
A New Relationship (vs. 16)
This is not a statement of manumission – Onesimus returned as a ______________
Though a slave, Onesimus was now also a _____________ in Christ to Philemon
As a Christian brother, his service as a slave should be even _____________ – 1 Timothy 6:2
The Appeal (vs. 17)
Paul’s requests Philemon to accept Onesimus back as a brother in the Lord just as he would ________
The Promise (vs. 18-19)
Paul is emphatic that he would __________ the cost of any past wrong Onesimus has committed
The last phrase is a __________________ meant to assure Philemon he would repay
The Benefit (vs. 20)
“_________” is the same root as his name – Paul would get benefit when Philemon received Beneficial
Paul’s Hopes (vs 21-22)
Philemon’s Response (vs. 21)
Paul expected that Philemon to grant his ____________ for Onesimus and carry it out wholeheartedly
A Future Visit (vs. 22)
Paul was hopeful of being _______________ and then visiting Philemon in Colossae
Greetings & Benediction (vs. 23-25)
It was common for Paul to include the _____________ of those with him that knew those he was writing
Paul closes with his common wish for God’s _____________ upon them – The Lord’s grace be with you
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