The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.
:4 . . . but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.
Onesimus was Philemon's slave. Paul was
writing to Philemon to ask for forgiveness for Onesimus' running away and to be
returned without charge.
What was Paul praying for Philemon? Fellowship of your faith = sharing with others; may become effective through the knowledge = study and understand of the gospel; of every good thing = the gospel; which is in you = as a believer; for Christ's sake = to bring more people to Christ. (DRM 11/21/03)
:7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Paul clearly knew Philemon from the way this verse is
worded. He knew how Philemon encouraged other believers (saints) that he was in
contact or worshipped with.
:8, 9 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, 9yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you - since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus -
Apparently Paul had not only written his thoughts to the early churches and Christians, but he also had some authority to tell them what to do (v. 8). These verses mention the authority, but Paul's choice not to use it. I don't consider myself an "authority" on anything. (DRM 11/10/06)
:10 I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus,
This verse was the purpose of Paul's letter to Philemon. Onesimus had run away from his master, as he was a slave, but now had become a Christian. Paul wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus' past sin and to be welcomed back into the family. (DRM 11/11/06)
:11 . . . who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.
In this personal letter from Paul to Philemon, he was
returning Philemon's slave, Onesimus, to him reluctantly.
:12, 13 I have sent him [Onesimus] back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart, 13whom I wished to keep with me, so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel;
As a single person and alone most of the time, I can
understand Paul's feelings here somewhat - even though I'm not in jail.
:17 If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.
Paul was writing to his friend, Philemon, and asking him to accept his slave, Onesimus, back as a free man. The verse shows me that Paul [and Jesus] wants us to do the same. After Onesimus became a Christian, he became a part of God's family. All believers should consider other believers as "family" and love them as brothers and sisters in Christ. (DRM 11/23/03)
:18 But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account;
Paul's letter to Philemon concerns the slave Onesimus.
Since Onesimus ran away, he became a Christian and was serving under Paul. Paul
is requesting Onesimus' freedom.