From The Work of God's Children
THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO PHILEMON
Philemon, a noble citizen of Colossa, had a servant named Onesimus, who robbed him and fled to Rome, where he met Saint Paul, who was then a prisoner there the first time. The apostle took compassion on him and received him with tenderness and converted him to the faith; for he was a Gentile before. Saint Paul sends him back to his master with this Epistle in his favor: and though he beseeches Philemon to pardon him, yet the Apostle writes with becoming dignity and authority. It contains several profitable instructions and points out the charity and humanity that masters should have for their servants.
Philemon Chapter 1
He commends the faith and charity of Philemon; and sends back to him his fugitive servant, whom he had converted in prison.
1:2. And to Appia, our dearest sister, and to Archippus, our fellow soldier, and to the church which is in thy house.
1:3. Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4. I give thanks to my God, always making a remembrance of you in my prayers.
1:5. Hearing of your charity and faith, which you have in the Lord Jesus and towards all the saints:
1:6. That the communication of your faith may be made evident in the acknowledgment of every good work that is in you in Christ Jesus.
1:7. For I have had great joy and consolation in your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
1:8. Wherefore, though I have much confidence in Christ Jesus to command you that which is to the purpose:
1:9. For charity's sake I rather beseech, whereas you are such a one, as Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also of Jesus Christ.
1:10. I beseech you for my son, whom I have begotten in my bands, Onesimus,
1:11. Who has been heretofore unprofitable to you but now is profitable both to me and you:
1:12. Whom I have sent back to you. And do receive him as my own heart.
1:13. Whom I would have retained with me, that in your stead he might have ministered to me in the bands of the gospel.
1:14. But without thy counsel I would do nothing: that thy good deed might not be as it were of necessity, but voluntary.
1:15. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season from thee that thou might receive him again forever:
1:16. Not now as a servant, but instead of a servant, a most dear brother, especially to me. But how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord?
1:17. If therefore you count me a partner, receive him as myself.
1:18. If he has wronged you in anything or is in your debt, put that to my account.
1:19. I, Paul have written it with my own hand: I will repay it: not to say to you that you owe me your own self also.
1:20. Yea, brother. May I enjoy you in the Lord!
1:21. Trusting in your obedience, I have written to you: knowing that you will also do more than I say.
1:22. But withal prepare me also a lodging. For I hope that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
1:25. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
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