Concluding Confidence (Philemon 17-21)

Paul concludes his letter to the church with the assurance of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ being conferred to this church.  Why do we study this letter and why does it matter that there are all these men are mentioned in the conclusion of the letter? Why do we want to study this old letter today?

Brotherly Appeal (Philemon 8-16)

Paul has the authority of an apostle.  This means that Paul can give a command and it is as if Christ gives the command.  Paul makes a big deal not to appeal to his apostolic authority when he exhorts Philemon.  Why does Paul use so many words rather than simply write, “I command you to forgive your brother who ran away!”  Why does Paul try so hard not to constrain Philemon through forceful words?

Thanking God (4-7)

Paul is thankful for this man who creates more stress for Paul while Paul has enough to think about while being in Prison.  Why is Paul thankful for this additional work?  What can Paul celebrate in the midst of his circumstances?  What does this teach us about a true grace-centered and Gospel-centered joy?