Philemon was a prominent Christian, probably a member of the church at Colossae and the owner of a slave named Onesimus. This slave had run away from his master, and then somehow he had come in contact with Paul, who was then in prison. Through Paul, Onesimus became a Christian. Paul's Letter to Philemon is an appeal to Philemon to be reconciled to his slave, whom Paul is sending back to him, and to welcome him not only as a forgiven slave but as a Christian brother.
Outline of Contents
Praise for Philemon (4-7)
Appeal for Onesimus (8-22)
In this letter, Paul urges a wealthy church leader named Philemon to forgive Onesimus, a slave who had run away. Onesimus had become a follower of Christ and a friend to Paul. Paul urges Philemon to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ.