The epistle of paul to philemon known simply as philemon is one of the books of the christian new testamentit is a prison letter co authored by paul the apostle with timothy to philemon a leader in the colossian church it deals with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliationpaul does not identify himself as an apostle with authority but as a prisoner of jesus christ calling . Philemon 117 21 offering to pay any of onesimus debts paul removes any last excuse philemon might have used to reject pauls request what can we learn from philemon philemon is a picture of the gospel of jesus christ at work in a corrupt and unjust world the brutal and often inhumane roman empire. Philemon is the shortest of pauls letters more like a postcard its also the most personal in his letter paul reminded philemon and us that christ is the renewer of hearts christ had renewed pauls heart many years before he had renewed philemons heart when he heard the gospel message and believed christ had renewed onesimus . Paul wrote the letter to philemon apphia archippus and the church that meets in archippuss house from the contents of the letter it is clear that the primary intended reader was philemon 22 in col 417 one encounters an archippus who was a member of the church in colossae. The letter to philemon is one of the 4 captivity epistles along with ephesians philippians and colossians in the new testament of the bible in this short letter paul appeals to philemon to take back his runaway slave not just as a slave but as a brother in christ
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