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Philemon 1 (Lexham English Bible)

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1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our dear friend 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.

Thanksgiving and Prayer for Philemon

4 I thank my God, always making mention of you in my prayers, 5 [because I]a hear about your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. 6 [I pray] that the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the knowledge [of] every good [thing] that [is] in us for Christ. 7 For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Paul’s Appeal for Onesimus

8 Therefore, [although I]b have great confidence in Christ to order you [to do what] is proper, 9 instead I appeal to [you] because of love, [since I]c am such a one as Paul, now an old man and also a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10 I am appealing to you concerning my child whom I became the father of during my imprisonment, Onesimus. 11 Once he [was] useless to you, but now [he is] useful to youd and to me, 12 whom I have sent back to you himself, that is, my heart, 13 whom I wanted to keep with me, in order that he might serve me on behalf of you during my imprisonment for the gospel. 14 But apart from your consent, I wanted to do nothing, in order that your good [deed] might be not as according to necessity, but according to [your own] free will. 15 For perhaps because of this, he was separated [from you] for a time, in order that you might 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.

Paul’s Request to Philemon

17 If therefore you consider me a partner, receive him as [you would] me. 18 But if in anything he has caused you loss or owes [you anything], {charge this to my account}e. 19 I, Paul, write [this] with my [own] hand: I will pay it back, lest I mention to you that {you owe me even your very self besides}f. 20 Yes, brother, I ought to have some benefit of you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you [because I]g know that you will do even beyond what I say. 22 At the same time also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.

Final Greetings and Benediction

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 [and so do] Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, [and] Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit.
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