Philemon Bible Study

Letter to Philemon

Christianity Oasis has provided you with this Philemon Summary and Philemon Bible study on the Letter to Philemon bring forth understanding and peace within.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Philemon

Philemon Summary / Philemon Bible Study

Letter to Philemon

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our very interesting and thought provoking Philemon Summary - Philemon Bible study on the Letter to Philemon. The absolutely awesome message will truly bring a smile to the lips and heart and shine the LIGHT of Truth upon your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk path.

Philemon Summary & Philemon Bible Study
Letter to Philemon

So happy for you to join Daily Bread for the study of this very short letter from Paul to Philemon. Let's read through the letter, then at the end of it, we'll do some investigating.

Philemon 1:1-3

1 [From] Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer [co-worker],
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Looking back to Paul's epistle to the Colossians, he mentions both Onesimus and Archippus, so you can guess that Paul probably knew these people from his third journey, when he traveled through Asia to Ephesus. Also, a little Daily Bread Crumb. This is sort of a reminder crumb from an Old Testament study. The word "family" wasn't used very frequently back in Biblical times, but instead, they used the word house.

Philemon Summary & Philemon Bible Study Truth
Letter to Philemon and to You

Now when they referred to a house, many times that included more than one family, and in addition, servants, and any strangers (foreigners) who may be staying with someone. It was common for several families (even many) of the same tribe to live in the same vicinity, and have a leader, who would be the chief of that house, and the house would be named after the leader. So, the church in Philemon's house could include many people. This could also indicate that Philemon was a prominent figure in his city.

After Paul's greeting, he writes:

Philemon 1:4-25

4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,
5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
6 That the communication [sharing] of thy faith [with others] may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you [may prove how blessed you are] in Christ Jesus.
7 For we have great joy and consolation [encouragement] in thy love, because the bowels [hearts] of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.
8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin [order] thee [to do] that which is convenient [the right thing],
9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech [ask] thee, being such an one as Paul the aged [an old man], and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
10 I beseech [ask] thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds [adopted while in prison]:
11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me [useful to both of us]:
12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive [welcome] him, that is, mine own bowels [I am sending part of my own heart]:
13 Whom I would have retained [kept] with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: [I wanted to keep him here with me. Then he could have served me in your place while I am in prison for spreading the Good News.]
14 But without thy mind [your consent] would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly [your generosity should be of your own free will, not forced].
15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him [welcome him back] for ever;
16 Not now as a servant, but above [more than] a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
17 If thou count me therefore a partner [friend], receive him as [you would] myself.
18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought [anything], put that on mine account [I will pay it];
19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. [I should not have to remind you, that you owe your very life to me.]
20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels [heart] in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do [even] more than I say.
22 But withal [meanwhile] prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given [released] unto you.
23 There salute thee [Give my best to] Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas [Luke], my fellowlabourers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Philemon Summary and Philemon Bible Study
Letter to Philemon From Paul

Here's an interesting little piece of Bible trivia. In some Bible versions, at the end of the Book of Philemon, there's a note that says: *Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus, a servant. Now, Paul said in the letter that he had written it with his own hand, which may mean that it was his own words spoken, while Onesimus actually wrote it.

Another thing to ponder is that Paul says, I've sent him back to you, so one may get the impression that Onesimus shows up on Philemon's doorstep with Paul's letter in hand. That was probably an interesting meeting, before the letter was opened.

Okay, let's boil this letter down. Paul is in prison with Onesimus, who is Philemon's runaway slave, but from the things Paul wrote, we can deduce that Paul has grown to love him as his own son. So, in his diplomatic manner, Paul drops Philemon a line. In it he says, Look, I should just boldly demand in the name of Christ that you do the right thing, but in my many years, and now in prison, I've learned that man must choose the things he does willingly, not because he has to.

Philemon Summary - Philemon Bible Study Hope
Letter to Philemon Explained

So, I'm asking you, in the name of love, to give this fellow a second chance. Maybe the reason he left, was so you would accept him back forever, as a brother, not just a slave. (If he hadn't left, he wouldn't have found the Lord.) Take him back with the same gentleness that you would me. If he stole anything from you, I'll pay you back out of my own pocket, (I won't mention what you owe me ... Which is your life.) Make me proud of you and do good to my heart. I know you'll do that, and more! By the way, I'm coming to stay at your place when they let me out of here because through your prayers, I believe I'll be released to you.

Now, just because man must choose willingly when he has a decision to make, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with putting Truth in front of that man to help assist him in his choice, and Paul took advantage of that in a very tactful way.

Ask yourself these questions: If you were Philemon, wouldn't Paul's letter encourage you to make the right choice? Might you have chosen differently if you hadn't received Paul's letter? Would you be glad in the end, that Paul helped you to see the Truth, even though you may have wanted something differently at the start?

Philemon Summary & Philemon Bible Study Summary
Letter to Philemon Conclusion

Maybe you know a runaway, who needs your letter (prayers) to get back to their Master. Maybe you're the runaway. Maybe you have a choice of a different kind to make. Friend, you have choices to make every day. Every one of us has been a deserter, a thief and worthless at one time or another in our lives, but our Master, who waits with open arms to receive us back again, is He who can guide you in making the right choices.

That was an interesting study, and there's much more ahead, so come on back soon, and we'll discover more truth together in the Epistle to the Hebrews, right here at Daily Bread.

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare