Graphics of Philemon
| Purpose:|| To convince Philemon to forgive his runaway salve. Onesimus, and to accept him as a brother in the faith. |
| Author:|| Paul|
| Original audience:|| Philemon, who was probably a wealthy member of the Colossian church. |
| Date written:|| Approximately A.D. 60, during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome, at about the same time Ephesians and Colossians were written. |
| Setting:|| Slavery was very common in the Roman Empire, and evidently some Christians has slaves. Paul does not condemn the institution of slavery in his writings, but he makes a radical statement by calling this slave Philemon's brother in Christ. |
| Key verses:|| "It seems Onesimus ran away for a little while so that you could have him back forever. He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than s slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord" (1:15-16).|
| Key people:|| Paul, Philemon, Onesimus |
| Key places:|| Colosse, Rome |
| Special features:|| This is a private personal letter to a friend. |
Introduction (vv. 1–3).
I. Paul’s Praise for Philemon (vv. 4–7).
II. Paul’s Plea for Onesimus (vv. 8–16).
III. Paul’s Pledge and Assurance (vv. 17–22).
Conclusion (vv. 23–25).
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Flm 1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
1. Paul's appreciation of Philemon (1:1-7)
2. Paul's appeal for Onesimus (1:18-25)
Paul pleads on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave. Paul's intercession for him illustrates what Christ has done for us. As Paul interceded for a salve, so Christ intercedes for us, slaves to sin. As Onesimus was reconciled to Philemon, so we are reconciled to God through Christ. As Paul offered to pay the debts of a slave, so Christ paid our debt of sin. Like Onesimus, we must return to God our Master and serve him.