Philemon and Colossians go together. Philemon was a mature believer in Colosse. Onesimus was his slave in Colosse and stole money and ran away to Rome. Onesimus blew the money then remembered Philemon talking about Paul who was now in jail in Rome.

He started visiting Paul on a daily basis taking in doctrine and
became a mature believer and Paul sent him back with Tychicus (Colossians 4:9) and these two great epistles of Paul. The book revolves around the social issue of slavery. It is not condemned or approved by the Bible. See more on the class issue of slave verses free in I Corinthians 7:21 and following.

Chapter 1

{Salutations - versus 1-3 }
1~~ Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ,
and Timothy our brother . . .
to Philemon our beloved
and fellow worker {Philemon is not a pastor}.

2~~Also to Apphia {wife of Philemon} our sister.
Also to Archippus {son of Philemon} our fellow soldier {IS a pastor}, and to the church in your home.

3~~Grace to you,
and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

{Part 2-The Super Grace status of Philemon- verses 4-7}
4~~ I keep thanking my God at all times,
at that time making mention of you in my prayers
  {Philemon has the respect of Paul}.

5~~Because I hear reports of your love {filling of the spirit}
and doctrine resident in your soul,
which you keep having face to face with the Lord Jesus,
and toward all saints.

6~~In order that our association
with reference to your doctrine resident in the soul
may become operational toward Christ
by means of epignosis knowledge
of all the intrinsic good
which is doctrine in the canon of scripture in you
  {doctrine resident in the soul}.

7~~For I have come to have much happiness
and encouragement by your love {category 1 love for God}
because the deep and tender affection of the saints
have been refreshed through you, brother.

{Part 3- the purpose of this epistle- verses 8-12}
8-10~~ Therefore,
though I might have maximum authority
by means of Christ
to command you to do your duty . . . 9~~
because of your love of Jesus Christ,
I encourage you even more . . .
being such a person as Paul, an ambasador,
and also right now a prisoner of Jesus Christ, 10~~
  {Paul is in prision in Rome but calls himself a Prisoner of Jesus}
I appeal to you on behalf of my son/student,
whom I have fathered in my chains . . . Onesimus.

{Note: This means that while Paul was in Prison in Rome, Onesimus became a 'son' or 'student' of his.}

11~~ The one formerly 'useless' to you,
but now to you and to me . . . 'highly profitable'.

{Note: The Greek word 'Onesimos' transliterated Onesimus means 'profitable' . . . Paul is making a play on words!}

12~~ Whom I sent back to you . . . the same one,
that is, my own very tender affections.

{Part 4- The Super Grace status of Onesimus- verses 13-15}
13~~ Whom I kept desiring to detain for myself
in order that on behalf of you
he might keep on ministering
to me in my chains of the gospel.

14~~ But, without your consent,
I did not want to do anything
in order that your intrinsic good
should not be as from compulsion,
but from your own free will.

15~~ Perhaps, for this reason,
he was separated for a 'short period of time'/hour {hora}
in order that you should have this same one back forever.

{Note: Onesimus was really an escaped slave for maybe two years.
RBT says Paul is downplaying the time gone.}

{Part 5- The Crisis of Grace}
16~~No longer as a slave {should Philemon consider Onesimus},
but more than a slave,
a beloved brother,
most of all to me,
but how much more to you,
both in the flesh,
and in the Lord?

17~~ If therefore you have me as a partner
- and you do {first class condition} -
receive him as you would receive me.

18~~ If he has wronged you or owes you anything
- and he does -
charge this to my account.

19~~ I, Paul, have written this by my own hand,
I will pay the damages . . .
so that I do not have to mention to you how much you owe me . . . EVEN YOURSELF.

{Note: Philemon's debt to Paul for bible teaching is tremendous.}

20~~ OK, brother, let me have 'profit' {oninemi}
from you . . . because of the Lord.
Refresh my deep affections in Christ.

21~~ Having confidence in your obedience {to doctrine}
I wrote to you knowing that you will do even more over and above what I say.

22~~ And at the same time also prepare me a lodging
for I anticipate through your prayers
I shall be graciously provided for you.

23~~ Epaphras,
my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus
conveys greetings to you.

{Note: Ephaphras was the minister of the church at Colosse, a gentile, and a mature believer.}

24~~ Likewise, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas . . .
my fellow prisioners {greet you}.

25~~ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .
{be} with your spirit. Amen/'I believe it'.


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