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.