Lesson 2 of5
In Progress

Outline of Philemon

1. Introduction (Philemon 1-3)

Paul, imprisoned for the sake of Christ, along with Timothy, greets Philemon and others in his house church with an expression of their mutual bond of grace and peace that comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Thanksgiving, Remembrance, and Prayer (Philemon 4-7)

Paul anticipates his appeal by thankful remembrance of Philemon’s faith and love, which have comforted and refreshed Paul and all the believers. He prays that their partnership in faith might now become actualized in doing a particular good work in service of Christ.

3. An Appeal in Two Parts (Philemon 8-20)

First (vv. 8-14), Paul, aged and in prison, returns Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, along with this letter and its carefully worded appeal that Philemon’s good deed will be done willingly and not by compulsion. Second (vv. 9-20), Paul anticipates Philemon’s objections by identifying the recently converted Onesimus as a “beloved brother in the Lord” to be received as Paul himself and by reminding Philemon that he owes Paul his very life.

4. Concluding Expressions of Confidence and Benediction (Philemon 21-25)

Paul expresses confidence that Philemon will do even more than he asks, promises a visit upon his release from prison, and concludes with greetings and a blessing.