Paul, a prisoner1 of Christ Jesus, and Timothy2 our brother,3 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker,4
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to Apphia our sister, to Archippus5 our fellow soldier6 and to the church that meets in your home:7
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Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.8
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I always thank my God9 as I remember you in my prayers,10
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because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus11 and your love for all the saints.12
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I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,13 because you, brother, have refreshed14 the hearts of the saints.
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Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
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yet I appeal to you15 on the basis of love. I then, as Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner16 of Christ Jesus--
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I appeal to you for my son17 Onesimus,18 who became my son while I was in chains.19
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Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
I am sending him--who is my very heart--back to you.
I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains20 for the gospel.
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But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.21
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Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good--
no longer as a slave,22 but better than a slave, as a dear brother.23 He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
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So if you consider me a partner,24 welcome him as you would welcome me.
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If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.25
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I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.26 I will pay it back--not to mention that you owe me your very self.
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I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh27 my heart in Christ.
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Confident28 of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
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And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be29 restored to you in answer to your prayers.30
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Epaphras,31 my fellow prisoner32 in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.
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And so do Mark,33 Aristarchus,34 Demas35 and Luke, my fellow workers.36
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The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.37
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