Philemon 1 NIV

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker—

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      2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:

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      3 Grace and peace to youa from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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        • a 1:3 - The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter “you” is singular.

          Thanksgiving and Prayer

          4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,

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          5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.

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          6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
          7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

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          Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

          8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,

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              9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—

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                  10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,b who became my son while I was in chains.

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                    • b 1:10 - "Onesimus" means "useful."
                      11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
                      12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.
                      13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.

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                          14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.

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                          15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—
                          16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

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                          17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.

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                          18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.

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                          19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self.

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                          20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

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                          21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

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                          22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.

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                          23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.

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                          24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.

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                          25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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