5/1/17 Paul Asks Philemon To Forgive Onesimus

“You know that as an apostle, I have the authority to issue commands in Jesus’ Name.  However, because of the love in my heart toward you, and the love that I know is in your heart toward me and all of our brothers and sisters in the faith, I am not going to do so.  Instead, I will simply ask as Paul, the elderly prisoner of Jesus.  Your servant, Onesimus, who left you as a thief, came to me by the leading of the Holy Spirit and became my son in the faith.  He is a new creation in Jesus.  He has truly surrendered his heart to our Messiah.  These past few weeks, he has been staying with me, learning and growing in his faith while assisting me in my work.  However, he is not my servant, but yours, and he agrees with me that it is right for him to be restored to you.  Therefore, I am sending him back to you along with this letter, in hopes that you will receive him with a spirit of forgiveness, not as a thieving, disobedient servant, but as a new brother in our Messiah.  Know that if I rightfully could, I would keep him with me, as he has been a great help and comfort to me, and it would be good to have him as your representative to attend to me in my captivity for the sake of my work for the Kingdom of Heaven.  But I could not do this without first returning him to you, so that if you so choose, you might have the honor of granting me the favor of his company at a later date.  I believe that he left you for a little while just for this reason, so that in losing him for a time as an unfaithful servant, you can now have him with you for eternity as a brother in the faith.  He is certainly beloved to me, and I’m sure he will now be much more so to you, as a man in your household and now a brother in our Lord.”

 

Philemon 1:8-16

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