LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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ST. PAULíS Epistle to PHILEMON

 

 

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timotheus a brother, to Philemon the beloved and our fellow laborer, and to the beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the Church which is in thy house: Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, (hearing of thy faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and love toward all saints,) that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you toward Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. Wherefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to enjoin thee what is convenient, yet out of love I rather entreat thee, being such a one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ: I entreat thee for my son, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus, who was formerly unprofitable to thee, but now profitable to thee and me. Whom I have sent again: Thou therefore receive him, that is my own bowels: Whom I was desirous to have retained with me, to serve me in thy stead in the bonds of the Gospel. But I would do nothing without thy consent; that thy benefit might not be, as it were, by constraint, but willingly. And perhaps for this end was he separated for a season, that thou mightest have him for ever; no longer as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, especially to me; and how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord? If therefore thou accountest me a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee any thing, put that to my account. I Paul have written with my own hand; I will repay it; not to say unto thee that thou owest also thyself to me besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord; refresh my bowels in Christ. Having confidence of thy obedience I have written to thee, knowing that thou wilt do even more than I say. Withal prepare me also a lodging: For I trust I shall be given to you through your prayers. Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, saluteth you; Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.