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,a who became my son while I was in chains.

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      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.