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Philemon Commentary


Philemon 1

The very beautiful and interesting Epistle to Philemon does not require much comment; it is an expression of the love which works by the Spirit within the assembly of God in all the circumstances of individual life.

Written for the purpose of awakening in Philemon sentiments which certain events had a tendency to extinguish in his heart, this epistle is suited to produce those feelings in the reader more than to be the object of explanation.

When the human mind is occupied with elevated subjects, it feels their weight, and bends under the load; it is absorbed; it has to abstract itself, to fix its attention. God reveals His own thoughts; and, vast as they may be to the human mind, they flow with the clearness and connectedness that is natural to them, when he communicates them by His chosen instruments. The latter are free to love; for the God who employs them and inspires them is love. It is a more essential part of their task to present Him thus, than even to speak of the deep things. Accordingly, when they are moved by that love, the character of Him who sends them is demonstrated as that of the God who is the source of love, by a perfect consideration for others, and the most delicate attention to those things which their hearts would feel.

Moreover this love develops itself in relationships formed by the Holy Ghost Himself, between the members of the body of Christ, that is to say, between men. Springing from a divine source, and always fed b y it, Christian affections assume the form of human regard, which by exhibiting love and the opposite of selfishness, bear the stamp of their origin. Love, free from self, can and does think of all that concerns others and understands what will affect them.

Paul at this moment was a prisoner at Rome. God had brought Onesimus there (whither all resorted) to lead him to salvation and the knowledge of the Lord, in order that we should be instructed, and that Onesimus should have a new position in the christian assembly. [1]

Finally, that which we have especially to remark in the Epistle to Philemon is the love which, in the intimate centre of this circle (guarded all round by an unparalleled development of doctrine) reigned and bore fruit, and bound the members of Christ together, and spread the savour of grace over all the relationships in which men could stand towards each other, occupying itself about all the details of life with a perfect propriety, and with the recognition of every right that can exist among men and of all that the human heart can feel.


[1] It seems to me, from the way in which the apostle speaks, that he even thought Onesimus would be an instrument of God in the assembly, useful in the Lords served. He would have retained him to minister to himself in the bonds of the gospel; but he respects his connection with Philemon. It was also much better for the soul of Onesimus that he should submit himself where had done wrong; and if he was to be free, that he should receive his freedom from the love of Philemon.

── John DarbySynopsis of Phelimon


Philemon 1

Chapter Contents

The apostle's joy and praise for Philemon's steady faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints. (1-7) He recommends Onesimus as one who would make rich amends for the misconduct of which he had been guilty; and on behalf of whom the apostle promises to make up any loss Philemon had sustained. (8-22) Salutations and a blessing. (23-25)

Commentary on Philemon 1:1-7

(Read Philemon 1:1-7)

Faith in Christ, and love to him, should unite saints more closely than any outward relation can unite the people of the world. Paul in his private prayers was particular in remembering his friends. We must remember Christian friends much and often, as their cases may need, bearing them in our thoughts, and upon our hearts, before our God. Different sentiments and ways in what is not essential, must not make difference of affection, as to the truth. He inquired concerning his friends, as to the truth, growth, and fruitfulness of their graces, their faith in Christ, and love to him, and to all the saints. The good which Philemon did, was matter of joy and comfort to him and others, who therefore desired that he would continue and abound in good fruits, more and more, to God's honour.

Commentary on Philemon 1:8-14

(Read Philemon 1:8-14)

It does not lower any one to condescend, and sometimes even to beseech, where, in strictness of right, we might command: the apostle argues from love, rather than authority, in behalf of one converted through his means; and this was Onesimus. In allusion to that name, which signifies "profitable," the apostle allows that in time past he had been unprofitable to Philemon, but hastens to mention the change by which he had become profitable. Unholy persons are unprofitable; they answer not the great end of their being. But what happy changes conversion makes! of evil, good; of unprofitable, useful. Religious servants are treasures in a family. Such will make conscience of their time and trusts, and manage all they can for the best. No prospect of usefulness should lead any to neglect their obligations, or to fail in obedience to superiors. One great evidence of true repentance consists in returning to practise the duties which have been neglected. In his unconverted state, Onesimus had withdrawn, to his master's injury; but now he had seen his sin and repented, he was willing and desirous to return to his duty. Little do men know for what purposes the Lord leaves some to change their situations, or engage in undertakings, perhaps from evil motives. Had not the Lord overruled some of our ungodly projects, we may reflect upon cases, in which our destruction must have been sure.

Commentary on Philemon 1:15-22

(Read Philemon 1:15-22)

When we speak of the nature of any sin or offence against God, the evil of it is not to be lessened; but in a penitent sinner, as God covers it, so must we. Such changed characters often become a blessing to all among whom they reside. Christianity does not do away our duties to others, but directs to the right doing of them. True penitents will be open in owning their faults, as doubtless Onesimus had been to Paul, upon his being awakened and brought to repentance; especially in cases of injury done to others. The communion of saints does not destroy distinction of property. This passage is an instance of that being imputed to one, which is contracted by another; and of one becoming answerable for another, by a voluntary engagement, that he might be freed from the punishment due to his crimes, according to the doctrine that Christ of his own will bore the punishment of our sins, that we might receive the reward of his righteousness. Philemon was Paul's son in the faith, yet he entreated him as a brother. Onesimus was a poor slave, yet Paul besought for him as if seeking some great thing for himself. Christians should do what may give joy to the hearts of one another. From the world they expect trouble; they should find comfort and joy in one another. When any of our mercies are taken away, our trust and hope must be in God. We must diligently use the means, and if no other should be at hand, abound in prayer. Yet, though prayer prevails, it does not merit the things obtained. And if Christians do not meet on earth, still the grace of the Lord Jesus will be with their spirits, and they will soon meet before the throne to join for ever in admiring the riches of redeeming love. The example of Onesimus may encourage the vilest sinners to return to God, but it is shamefully prevented, if any are made bold thereby to persist in evil courses. Are not many taken away in their sins, while others become more hardened? Resist not present convictions, lest they return no more.

Commentary on Philemon 1:23-25

(Read Philemon 1:23-25)

Never have believers found more enjoyment of God, than when suffering together for him. Grace is the best wish for ourselves and others; with this the apostle begins and ends. All grace is from Christ; he purchased, and he bestows it. What need we more to make us happy, than to have the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with our spirit? Let us do that now, which we should do at the last breath. Then men are ready to renounce the world, and to prefer the least portion of grace and faith before a kingdom.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Philemon


Philemon 1

Verse 1

[1] Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,

This single epistle infinitely transcends all the wisdom of the world. And it gives us a specimen how Christians ought to treat of secular affairs from higher principles.

Paul a prisoner of Christ — To whom, as such, Philemon could deny nothing.

And Timotheus — This was written before the second epistle to Timothy, Philemon 22.

Verse 2

[2] And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

To Apphia — His wife, to whom also the business in part belonged.

And the church in thy house — The Christians who meet there.

Verse 5

[5] Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

Hearing — Probably from Onesimus.

Verse 6

[6] That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

I pray that the communication of thy faith may become effectual - That is, that thy faith may be effectually communicated to others, who see and acknowledge thy piety and charity.

Verse 7

[7] For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

The saints — To whom Philemon's house was open, Philemon 2.

Verse 8

[8] Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

I might be bold in Christ — Through the authority he hath given me.

Verse 9

[9] Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Yet out of love I rather entreat thee — In how handsome a manner does the apostle just hint, and immediately drop, the consideration of his power to command, and tenderly entreat Philemon to hearken to his friend, his aged friend, and now prisoner for Christ! With what endearment, in the next verse, does he call Onesimus his son, before he names his name! And as soon as he had mentioned it, with what fine address does he just touch on his former faults, and instantly pass on to the happy change that was now made upon him! So disposing Philemon to attend to his request, and the motives wherewith he was going to enforce it.

Verse 10

[10] I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Whom I have begotten in my bonds — The son of my age.

Verse 11

[11] Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

Now profitable — None should be expected to be a good servant before he is a good man. He manifestly alludes to his name, Onesimus, which signifies profitable.

Verse 12

[12] Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

Receive him, that is, my own bowels — Whom I love as my own soul. Such is the natural affection of a father in Christ toward his spiritual children.

Verse 13

[13] Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

To serve me in thy stead — To do those services for me which thou, if present, wouldest gladly have done thyself.

Verse 14

[14] But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

That thy benefit might not be by constraint — For Philemon could not have refused it.

Verse 15

[15] For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

God might permit him to be separated (a soft word) for a season, that thou mightest have him for ever - Both on earth and in heaven.

Verse 16

[16] Not 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?

In the flesh — As a dutiful servant.

In the Lord — As a fellow-Christian.

Verse 17

[17] If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

If thou accountest me a partner — So that thy things are mine, and mine are thine.

Verse 19

[19] I 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.

I will repay it — If thou requirest it.

Not to say, that then owest me thyself — It cannot be expressed, how great our obligation is to those who have gained our souls to Christ.

Beside — Receiving Onesimus.

Verse 20

[20] Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

Refresh my bowels in Christ — Give me the most exquisite and Christian pleasure.

Verse 22

[22] But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

Given to you — Restored to liberty.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Philemon


Chapter 1. A Dear Brother

Formerly Useless
Now Useful

I. Thanksgiving for Philemon

  1. Dear Fellow Worker
  2. The Whole Household Serve God
  3. Faith and Love

II. Welcome Onesimus

  1. An Old Man
  2. A Prisoner of Christ Jesus
  3. Appeal out of Love

III. Willing to Pay Back for Him

  1. If He Has Done You Any Wrong
  2. Charge It to Me
  3. Confident of Your Obedience

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Chapter One General Review
1) To be impressed with the loving hospitality which characterized the
   Christians in the early church
2) To learn lessons in the use of tact in dealing with others
In this very short and personal epistle, Paul addresses it to Philemon,
Apphia, Archippus and to the church in their house.  But it soon becomes
evident that its contents are directed toward Philemon, a beloved friend
and fellow laborer with Paul (1-3).
After his salutation, Paul expresses his thanks for the noble qualities
which have characterized Philemon in the past, especially his love for
the saints.  It is because of Philemon's past performance that Paul is
confident his plea will be carried out faithfully (4-7).
Paul's plea concerns Onesimus, a slave who had run away from Philemon.
Somehow he had run into Paul at Rome and was now a new convert to Jesus
Christ.  As a brother in Christ, Onesimus had made himself very useful
to Paul in Rome.  But because he still legally belongs to Philemon, Paul
is sending him back with a plea that Onesimus be forgiven and received
as a brother in the Lord.  Paul also offers to pay any restitution which
may be owed Philemon by Onesimus (8-21).
The epistle ends with a request for lodging in the near future, and with
sundry greetings from individuals who were with Paul in Rome (22-25).
   A. FROM... (1a)
      1. Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus
      2. Timothy, a brother
   B. TO... (1b-2)
      1. Philemon, a beloved friend and fellow laborer
      2. Apphia
      3. Archippus, a fellow soldier
      4. The church in their house
      1. Grace and peace
      2. From God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
      1. Expressed in frequent prayers to God
      2. For Philemon's love and faith toward Jesus and all the saints
   B. PAUL'S PRAYER (6-7)
      1. That the sharing of Philemon's faith might be effective
      2. Through the acknowledgment of every good thing in Philemon
      3. For example, the joy and comfort experienced by Paul from
         Philemon's love, as Paul hears of how he refreshed the hearts
         of the saints
      1. Paul had the authority to command what is fitting
      2. He chose instead to make an appeal based upon...
         a. Love itself
         b. Paul's "age"
         c. His imprisonment
   B. PAUL'S PLEA (10-20)
      1. Concerns Onesimus (10-11)
         a. Who was converted by Paul while in chains, and is now like
            a son to him
         b. Who though once was unprofitable to Philemon, is now
            profitable to both him and Paul
      2. Paul is now sending Onesimus back to Philemon (12-14)
         a. Though he is very dear to Paul
         b. Though Paul wished to keep him and have him work in
            Philemon's behalf in the gospel
         c. But Paul did not want to do anything without Philemon's
            whole-hearted consent
      3. Paul's desire is that Philemon receive Onesimus as a brother
         in Christ (15-17)
         a. Perhaps his running away was for this purpose, that he might
            become a beloved brother in the Lord
         b. So if Philemon considered himself a partner of Paul, Paul
            asks that he receive Onesimus as he would Paul himself
      4. Paul offers to repay Philemon (18-19)
         a. For any wrong that Onesimus might have done
         b. Of course, Philemon already owed Paul his own life
      5. By receiving Onesimus in this way, Philemon could give Paul
         joy and a refreshed heart in the Lord (20)
      1. In Philemon's obedience
      2. That Philemon will do even more than what Paul is asking for
      1. That Paul might be able to stay with Philemon
      2. For Paul is confident that through the prayers of Philemon he
         will soon be able to come to him
      1. Epaphras, a fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus
      2. Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, fellow laborers with Paul
1) Why does Paul refer to himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus? (1)
   - He was "in chains" (also under house arrest, awaiting trial)
   - But note also that he says "of Christ", for it was while engaged in
     HIS service and thus for HIS sake he was imprisoned
2) Why the mention of Timothy? (1)
   - He was with Paul at Rome
   - Also, it is possible that he was acquainted with Philemon
3) What does Philemon's name mean?  Did he live up to it?
   - His name means "one that is affectionate"
   - Yes! cf. verse 5 and 7
4) Who, possibly, are Apphia and Archippus? (2)
   - Apphia may have been the wife of Philemon
   - Archippus may have been their son, also the minister for the 
     church in Colosse (cf. Co 4:17)
5) Is this letter primarily to Philemon, or to all?
   - To Philemon (note the use of the singular in verses 4-21)
   - Though by mentioning the others, perhaps Paul was soliciting their
     help to encourage Philemon
6) What is a good example of this family's devotion to Christ and of
   their hospitality to the saints? (2)
   - It appears that they let the church meet in their home
7) Define the terms "grace" and "peace" (3)
   - Grace: favor that is unmerited
   - Peace: harmony (e.g., with God, self, and others), the result of
            God's grace
8) How could Paul have heard about Philemon? (4,5)
   - From Epaphras, who was a member of the church at Epaphras (Co 4:12,
   - From Onesimus himself
9) What good things had Paul heard concerning Philemon? (5)
   - His love and faith toward Christ and the saints
10) What are some examples of Philemon's love for the saints?
   - Letting the church meet in his home (1)
   - Refreshing the hearts of the saints (7)
   - Preparing guest rooms (22)
11) What does Paul pray for in behalf of Philemon? (6)
   - That the sharing of his faith may become effective
12) How is this prayer related to the plea which follows in verses 8-21?
   - Carrying out Paul's plea concerning Onesimus would be one way of
     assuring that Philemon's faith in its sharing would be effective
13) What had given Paul great joy and comfort in his imprisonment? (7)
   - Philemon's love and the way the saints have been refreshed by him
14) How does Paul re-emphasize his close feelings for Philemon? (7)
   - By calling him "brother"
15) What does the word "therefore" indicate? (8)
   - That Paul's plea for Onesimus is predicated upon Philemon's past
     behavior mentioned in verses 4-7
16) What could Paul have done in this matter? (8)
   - Simply commanded Philemon to do what is proper
17) What does Paul do instead? (9)
   - He "appeals" to Philemon
18) Why does Paul call himself "the aged"? (9)
   - Perhaps to appeal to Philemon's sympathy
   - Paul is probably about sixty years old at this time, but in light
     of bodily injuries incurred throughout his ministry (cf. 2 Co 11:
     23-29), he was likely older than his years would normally indicate
19) Why does he again refer to himself as a prisoner? (9)
   - Perhaps to tactfully remind Philemon that since Paul had suffered
     so much in service to Christ, certainly Philemon could honor his
20) In the original language, where does the name "Onesimus" appear in
    the sentence? (10)
   - At the end: "I appeal to you for my son, whom I have begotten
     while in my chains, ONESIMUS."
21) What significance might there be in placing Onesimus' name at the
    end of the sentence?
   - Possibly that Paul is tactfully preparing Philemon to honor Paul's
     request by saying what he does before mentioning a name that is
     likely to bring bad memories to Philemon
22) What does Paul call Onesimus?  What does it mean? (10)
   - "My son"
   - Like Timothy, this convert of Paul had become like a son to him
23) What does the name "Onesimus" mean?
   - "Profitable", or "useful"
24) How had becoming a Christian changed Onesimus? (11)
   - Prior to his conversion, he was "unprofitable" (as a runaway slave)
   - Now, he was "profitable" to both Paul and Philemon
   - Thus he was now living up to his name!
25) What does Paul want Philemon to do in regard to Onesimus? (12)
   - Receive him
26) How does Paul express further what Onesimus has meant to him? (12)
   - He refers to Onesimus as "my own heart"
27) What had Paul wished to do with Onesimus? (13)
   - To keep him, and let him serve Paul in the gospel
28) Why had Paul refrained from doing what he wished? (14)
   - He did not want to do anything without Philemon's whole-hearted
29) What did Paul see as the "possible" reason for this turn of events?
   - The providence of God
   - Note that Paul says "perhaps"; Paul recognized that we cannot
     always be certain as to why things happen the way they do (just as
     Mordecai said in Esther 4:14), and whether it is always the Lord's
30) How did Paul want Philemon to receive Onesimus? (16)
   - No longer as a slave, but as a beloved brother
31) Upon what basis does Paul ask Philemon to receive Onesimus as he
    would Paul himself? (17)
   - If he considered Paul as a partner
32) What is Paul willing to do in behalf of Onesimus? (18-19)
   - Pay back anything Onesimus might owe Philemon
33) What indicates that Paul may have personally converted Philemon to 
    the gospel? (19)
   - Paul's statement, "you owe me even your own self"
34) How will Philemon's forgiveness of Onesimus affect Paul? (20)
   - Despite being in chains, Paul will have joy and be refreshed in 
     his heart
35) Was Paul in doubt about Philemon's response to his request? (21)
   - No, he had confidence that Philemon would do even more that what
     Paul asked
36) How could Philemon do more than what Paul had asked of him?
   - He could free Onesimus
   - He could give him spare time to evangelize
   - He could treat other slaves with similar compassion
37) How might Paul's request for lodging tactfully induce Philemon to
    honor his request for Onesimus? (22)
   - Philemon would know that Paul would soon be able to witness
     firsthand Philemon's response to the plea for Onesimus
38) Where else do we read of these men who accompany Paul in sending
    greetings to Philemon? (23,24)
   - All of them are mentioned in Co 4:10-14
   - Epaphras (Co 1:7; 4:12,13)
   - Mark (Ac 12:12,25; 13:5,13; 15:36-40; 2 Ti 4:11; 1 Pe 5:13)
   - Aristarchus (Ac 19:29; 20:4; 27:2)
   - Demas (2 Ti 4:10)
   - Luke (The "we" sections of Acts, 2 Ti 4:11)
39) What is Paul's concluding prayer for Philemon? (25)
   - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."
40) List the main point of this epistle
   - Saluation (1-3)
   - Thanksgiving & Prayer (4-7)
   - The Plea For Onesimus (8-21)
   - Concluding Remarks (22-25)


A Model Of Christian Courtesy (1-25)
1. There is a book in the New Testament which has been described as:
   a. A model of Christian courtesy
   b. A manifestation of Christian love
   c. A monument of Christian conversion
2. That book is Paul's epistle to Philemon, the shortest of all of 
   Paul's letters
3. In this lesson, we shall take a brief look at this unique letter
[Before actually reading it, it might be helpful to consider some...]
      1. The apostle Paul, of course
      2. As clearly indicated in verses 1,9,19
      1. By carefully comparing this epistle with the one to the 
         Colossians, it is clear that both were written at the same time
         and from the same place
         a. Like Colossians, the epistle to Philemon was written while
            Paul was in chains (Phile 1,10,13,23; Co 4:18)
         b. Timothy joined Paul in both epistle (Phile 1; Co 1:1)
         c. Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke joined in the 
            salutations of both (Phile 23,24; Co 4:10-14)
         d. Onesimus, the subject of the epistle to Philemon, was one of
            the messengers by whom the epistle to the Colossians was 
            sent (Co 4:7-9)
      2. If the epistle to Philemon was written about the time of 
         Colossians and the other "prison epistles" (Ephesians and 
         a. Then it was written during Paul's imprisonment at Rome, the
            time mentioned in Ac 28:30-31
         b. This would make it sometime during 61-63 A.D.
      1. PHILEMON
         a. He was likely a member of the church at Colosse
         b. A very hospitable one, as we shall see
         c. It is possible that he was one of Paul's own converts (cf.
            Phile 19)
      2. APPHIA - possibly the wife of Philemon
      3. ARCHIPPUS
         a. Thought by many to be the son of Philemon
         b. A minister of the gospel (cf. Co 4:17)
      4. ONESIMUS
         a. He had been one of Philemon's slaves (Phile 16)
         b. Who had evidently run away (Phile 15)
         c. Somehow, he had traveled from Colosse to Rome, found Paul,
            and was converted to Christ (Phile 10)
         d. He had become very dear to Paul, and very useful (Phile 11-
            13; Co 4:10)
      1. Paul did not think it right to keep Onesimus with him in Rome,
         and was therefore sending him back to Philemon
      2. This letter to Philemon is an appeal by Paul...
         a. To receive Onesimus back, now as a brother in Christ
         b. To forgive him if he had done any wrong
[With this background information, let's now READ the epistle,
[With a reading of the epistle fresh on our minds, let me suggest 
      1. Philemon opening his house for the church to meet - Phile 1-2;
         cf. also Ro 16:3-5; 1 Co 16:19
      2. His love for all the saints - Phile 5; cf. also Co 1:4; 2 Th
      3. How he refreshed the hearts of the saints - Phile 7; cf. also
         1 Co 16:15-18
      4. How Paul could depend upon on him for a place to stay - 
         Phile 22
      -- Certainly an example worthy of imitation!
      1. Paul could have "commanded" Philemon, but instead he "appealed"
         to him - Phile 8-9
      2. He introduced the subject of his appeal "gradually" - Phile 10
         (in the Greek, the name of Onesimus is the last word in the
      3. He refused to compel Philemon to let him retain Onesimus in 
         Rome, but sent him back - Phile 12-14
      4. He offers to pay Philemon for any wrong incurred by Onesimus
         - Phile 18-19
      5. He believes in the basic goodness of Philemon, not suspicious
         of how he will react - Phile 21
1. From both the example of Paul and Philemon, there is much to be
   gleaned from reading and meditating on this very short epistle
   a. From Philemon, a model of Christian hospitality
   b. From Paul, a model of Christian courtesy
2. If you have not ever carefully studied this epistle before, I hope
   that this brief lesson has whetted your desire to do so in the future
3. In closing we notice the last verse:
      "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.  Amen"
Are we living in such a way to allow the grace of the Lord Jesus to be
in our lives?


--《Executable Outlines


A dear brother

Formerly useless

Now useful


I.  Thanksgiving for Philemon

1.    Dear fellow worker

2.    The whole household serve God

3.    Faith and love

II.Welcome Onesimus

1.    An old man

2.    A prisoner of Christ Jesus

3.    Appeal out of love

III.       Willing to pay back for him

1.    If he has done you any wrong

2.    Charge it to me

3.    Confident of your obedience

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament