Paul Writes to Philemon
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all of His holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 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. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
– Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
Philemon stands out as a leader in the church and a man who loves others, especially those in the faith. But Paul is about to appeal to him to forgive and welcome Onesimus, now a fellow believer, but apparently Philemon’s escaped slave. Paul even offers to pay back anything Onesimus may owe Philemon and pleads for Philemon to accept Onesimus now no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ.