Paul's Plea for Onesimus

Philemon 1

8 Accordingly, m though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do n what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you - I, Paul, an old man and now o a prisoner also for Christ Jesus - 10 I appeal to you for p my child, q Onesimus, 1 r whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me s on your behalf t during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be u by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why v he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 w no longer as a slave 2 but more than a slave, as x a beloved brother - especially to me, but how much more to you, y both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me z your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 a I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it - to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. b Refresh my heart in Christ.

21 c Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for d I am hoping that e through your prayers f I will be graciously given to you.

  1. Cross References
    1 Thessalonians 2:6
    Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.
  2. Cross References
    Ephesians 5:4
    Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
  3. Cross References
    Philemon 1:1
    Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker
  4. Cross References
    3 John 1:4
    I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
  5. Cross References
    Colossians 4:9
    And with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
  6. Cross References
    Philemon 1:13
    I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel.
    1 Corinthians 4:15
    For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
    Galatians 4:19
    My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
  7. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 16:17
    I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence.
  8. Cross References
    Philemon 1:10
    I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.
    Philippians 1:7
    It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
  9. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 9:7
    Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    1 Peter 5:2
    Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly.
  10. Cross References
    Genesis 45:5
    And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
    Genesis 45:8
    So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
  11. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 7:22
    For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.
  12. Cross References
    Matthew 23:8
    But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
    Colossians 4:9
    And with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
    1 Timothy 6:2
    Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.
  13. Cross References
    Colossians 3:22 - 23
    Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
    Ephesians 6:5
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.
  14. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 8:23
    As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
  15. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 16:21
    I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.
  16. Cross References
    Philemon 1:7
    For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
  17. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 2:3
    And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.
  18. Cross References
    Philippians 1:25
    Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.
    Philippians 2:24
    And I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
  19. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 1:11
    You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
  20. Cross References
    Hebrews 13:19
    I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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