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Philemon

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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—

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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