Tag Archives: Philemon

Philemon

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Contents:

NOTE
DATE
BACKGROUND
PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE
OUTLINE (of the verse by verse study)
NOTES (verse by verse study)

Philemon_17NOTE. For more details see, McGee, Philemon. This study is taken from that book with modifications. The study is also available online in audio at: Philemon.

This is one of the most remarkable epistles in the Scripture. It is only one chapter; so you may have trouble finding it. If you can find Titus, just keep going; if you find Hebrews, you have gone too far.

DATE A.D. 61 or 62

The epistles or letters in the New Testament were a new form of revelation. Before them, God had used law, history, poetry, prophecy, and the gospel records. When God used the epistles, He adopted a more personal and direct method. There are different kinds of epistles. Some are directed to churches; some to individuals and are rather intimate.

Reading this epistle is like looking over the shoulder of Philemon and reading his personal mail. Paul wrote this letter to him personally. That does not detract from the inspiration and value of this epistle. The Holy Spirit has included it in the Scriptures for a very definite reason.

BACKGROUND

Philemon lived in Colossae, way up in the Phrygian country in the Anatolian section of what is Turkey today. It was a great city in Paul’s day. There is no record that Paul ever visited Colossae, but Dr. McGee suspects that Paul did visit that city.

The story of this epistle was enacted on the black background of slavery. There were approximately sixty million slaves in the Roman Empire where the total population did not exceed one hundred million. A slave was a chattel. He was treated worse than an enemy. He was subject to the whim of his master.

In Colossae was a very rich man, Philemon, who had been saved. He apparently had come down to Ephesus, as Paul was there speaking in the school of Tyrannus every day, and people were coming in from all over the area to hear him. Millions lived in Asia Minor, and Philemon was just one of the men who came to know the Lord Jesus.

Philemon owned slaves, one of whom was Onesimus. One day, Onesimus made a run for it. He moved into a great metropolis, Rome. In that great population, he could have been buried and never recognized.

One day, Onesimus found out that there was a slavery in freedom and a freedom in slavery. When he was a slave, he did not worry about where he was going to sleep or what he was going to eat. His master took care of that. In Rome now, he has a real problem. Maybe he is homesick and hungry. Somehow, he came into contact with Paul, who was a prisoner in chains. Onesimus had run away from chains, and he thought he was free, but when he listened to that man, Paul, he thought, “That man is free, and I am still a slave—a slave to appetite, a slave to economy. I’m still a slave, but that man, although he is chained, is free.”

Paul led him to Christ—presented the gospel to him, and told him how Jesus had died for him and how He had been buried but rose again on the third day. He asked Onesimus to put his trust in Christ, and he did.

Philemon_18Onesimus did what any man does who has been converted; he thought back on his past life and the things which were wrong that he wanted to make right. He confessed to Paul that he was a runaway slave, that he was from Colossae, and that his master was Philemon. He wanted to know if he should go back to him master and Paul told him yes. Paul sent a letter with Onesimus, the letter which we have before us.

In the human heart, there has always been a great desire to be free. But right now, there are millions of Americans who are slaves to alcohol, or to drugs, or to the economy, to racism, to hatred planted in them by Satan’s own liberal troopers, or to the almighty dollar. We live in a day when people pride themselves on being free, but the Lord Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.” You will not get arguments for or against slavery in this epistle. What you do learn is that freedom that is above all the slavery of this world. It is the freedom that every one of us wants to have.

PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE

The primary purpose of this epistle is to reveal Christ’s love for us in what He did for us in pleading our case before God. This is one of the finest illustrations of substitution. “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account” (verse 18). We can hear Christ agreeing to take our place and to have all our sin imputed to Him. He took our place in death, but He gives us His place in life. “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself” (verse 18). We have the standing of Christ before God, or we have no standing at all. Onesimus, the unprofitable runaway slave, was to be received as Paul the great apostle would have been received in the home of Philemon.

The practical purpose is to teach brotherly love. Paul spoke of the new relationship between master and servant in the other prison epistles. Here he demonstrates how it should work. These men, belonging to two different classes in the Roman Empire, hating each other and hurting each other, are now brothers in Christ, and they are to act like it. This is the only solution to the problems and hatreds between capital and labor, hatred between races, hatred of any type.

OUTLINE (of the verse by verse study)

  1. Genial Greeting to Philemon and His Family (vv1-3)
  2. Good Reputation of Philemon (vv4-7)
  3. Gracious Plea for Onesimus (vv8-16)
  4. Guiltless Substitutes for Guilty (v17)
  5. Glorious Illustration of Imputation (v18)
  6. General and Personal Items and Requests (vv19-25)

NOTES  (verse by verse study)

Philemon_3GENIAL GREETING TO PHILEMON AND HIS FAMILY (vv1-3)

v1 Notice that Paul does not mention the fact that he is an apostle. When he was writing to the churches, he gave his official title: an apostle of Jesus Christ. But this is a personal letter to a personal friend. He does not need to defend his apostleship. He intended for this to be very personal, and I (Dr. McGee) think he would really be surprised to know it can be read by the whole world.

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ.” Dr. McGee notices that several of the commentaries try to change this and explain it away by teaching that Paul really meant that he was a prisoner because he was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that is not what Paul said, and Paul had the ability of saying exactly what he had in mend. He was using the Greek language which is very flexible, versatile language. He said he was a prisoner of Jesus Christ. Also, the Holy Spirit is guiding this writing, and certainly the Holy Spirit, God, says what He means.

Paul would tell you Jesus Christ would put him in jail, not the religious leaders who brought the charges or the Romans. You might ask Paul, “You mean that you would serve Someone who would put you in prison?” “Yes, when it’s His will for me to be in prison, I’m in prison. When it’s His will for me to be out of prison, I’ll be out of prison. When it’s His will for me to be sick, I’m going to be sick. I belong to Him. Since I belong to Him, I have learned to be content in whatsoever state I am in. Everything is all right. Don’t worry about me.”

Obviously, the letter to Philemon is one of the prison epistles. It goes along with Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.

“And Timothy our brother.” That means he is not only Philemon’s brother and Paul’s brother, but he is your brother if you are a Christian. All believers are brothers in Christ.

“Unto Philemon our dearly beloved.” Does that sound as if Paul is really buttering him up. Dr. McGee thinks so. He did love this man and he is going to make a request of him.

Apphia was apparently the wife of Philemon. Philemon is a Greek name and Apphia is a Phrygian name. Phylemon met a Phrygian girl named Apphia and married her. They have both become Christians.

v2 Dr. McGee assumes that Archippus was their son. He is called a “fellowsoldier” – he also is a soldier in the army of Jesus Christ. He is a fellowsoldier. All believers should be soldiers and every believer has gifts that God wishes him to freely exercise as a member of a local church body in pursuance of the spiritual warfare believers and churches are called to fight. Sometimes believers do not exercise their God given gifts as a member of a church body and sometimes churches constrain some members from freely exercising those gifts God has given them. When that happens, neither the body nor the affected member(s) are functioning as God would desire.

“And to the church in thy house.” The local church was not down on the corner in a separate building – they had no building. There were great temples to the pagan gods, but the early churches did not have buildings which they erected and owned in the name of the church. It is estimated that for two hundred years, churches met in homes.

The great cathedrals of the past were actually never meant for public meetings. Westminster Abbey in England, for example, was never intended for public services. It was built in the shape of a cross as a monument to Jesus Christ. In my (Jerald Finney) opinion, this grieved our Lord, who set the example and gave the instructions (throught the Apostle Paul) for His churches.

v3 This is Paul’s usual greeting to every person and church to whom he wrote.

GOOD REPUTATION OF PHILEMON (vv4-7)

v4 Philemon is a man for whom Paul prayed.

v5 The life of Philemon was a testimony. Paul describes it in a lovely way. He showed love toward our Lord Jesus and toward other believers. His faith was toward the Lord Jesus and he showed it to other believers.

v6 His faith was shared. The life of Philemon was a testimony.

v7 Paul had great joy and consolation in the love of Philemon for other believers and for him. “Bowels” implies the entire psychological nature. It is the inner life of the believers that had great satisfaction through him.

GRACIOUS PLEA FOR ONESIMUS (vv8-16)

Paul is coming to the purpose of the letter. He approaches the subject diplomatically and cautiously and lovingly. He makes his request on a threefold basis:

  1. “For love’s sake.”
  2. “Being such an one as Paul the aged.” Paul, in his sixties, had suffered and been persecuted as a missionary for Christ. This had aged him. He is saying, “You know that I am an old man now.”
  3. “A prisoner of Jesus Christ.” It is evident he cannot come to Philemon in person.

v10 Paul is pleading on behalf of his son-one of his many spiritual sons whom he had led to the Lord.

v11 The name Onesimus means profitable. Paul is saying, “When you had Profitable, you didn’t have Profitable. Now that you don’t have Profitable, you do have Profitable.” As a slave, Onesimus wasn’t very useful. He did not work because he wanted to. His heart wasn’t in it. Now that Onesimus is a believer, Paul says, “He is going to be profitabe as a slave.”

vv12, 13 Paul is asking Philemon to receive Onesimus just as if he were receiving Paul. Paul admits he would like to have kept Onesimus who would have been of great help to him as an old, sick, cold man in prison. But Paul would not do that.

v14 Paul is saying, “I wouldn’t keep Onesimus because that would not be right-although I thought of it. If you willingly want to send him back, that will be all right.” We don’t know if Philemon sent Onesimus back, but Dr. McGee thinks he did.

vv15-16 “For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?” Onesimus is still a slave, but more than a slave, a dearly beloved brother.

GUILTLESS SUBSTITUTES FOR GUILTY (v17)

Verse 17 with verse 18 gives us one of the grandest illustrations of substitution and imputation. Behind Paul’s plea is Christ’s plea to the Father on behalf of hte sinner who trusts Christ as the Saviour. The sinner is received on the same standing that Christ is received. The saved sinner has as much right to heaven as Christ has, for he has His right to be there. We are accepted in teh beloved (Ep. 1.6). “Don’t put him out in the cold, put him in that guest room where you put me when I was there.”

GLORIOUS ILLUSTRATION OF IMPUTATION (v18)

Paul had a credit card because he was a believer in Christ. Paul says, “Look, if Onesimus stole something from you or did something wrong, just put it on my account.” All this is a glorious picture. When one comes to God the Father for salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ says, “If [] has wronged Thee or oweth Thee anything,m put that on My account.” Christ on the cross paid the penalty for my sins. But that isn’t all. I am sure that God the Father would say, “That fellow is not fit for heaven.” The the Lord Jesus would say, “If Thou count Me therefore a partner, receive Jerald Finney as Myself.” That is what it means to be in Christ-accepted in the Beloved. This is a very precious epistle.

GENERAL AND PERSONAL ITEMS AND REQUESTS (vv19-25)

v19 The Lord Jesus Christ gave His life and shed His blood to pay our entire debt of sin.

“Albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.” Paul had led Philemon to the Lord. How could he ever repay Paul for that?

v20 Paul is pleading for Onesimus.

v21 Paul expresses his confidence that Philemon will do more than he requests. It is characteristic that believers will do more than is requested. Jesus asks us to go the second mile.

v22 Paul expects to be released from prison. He requests prayers for that purpose. Since this letter was written during Paul’s first confinement in Rome, he was released and probably visited Philemon personally.

vv23-25 This beautiful little letter concludes with personal greetings to mutual friends.

 

Lesson 6 on Colossians: Christ the Head of the Local Church

Christ, the fullness of God, poured out in life through believers, Chapters 3 and 4.
Living of Believers is Holy – Colossians 3.5-4.6
Fellowship of Believers Is Hearty – Colossians 4.7-18
(26 questions with answers following)
Added on  May 15, 2017

Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
This is the last lesson on Colossians

Answers at the end, following the questions. Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

This is an open book quiz meant to challenge the Bible believer – the saved person who believes the Word of God rather than the person who tries to fit particular Scriptures into a system of interpretation meant to validate one’s desired view of how things should be by philosophizing, allegorizing, or spiritualizing chosen Scriptures. The literal meaning, taken in its immediate context and within the context of all related Scripture is the basis for these studies. It is presented for the glory of God.

Colossians directs our attention to the head of the body who is Christ. The body itself is secondary. Christ is the theme. He is the center of the circle around which all Christian living revolves. Christ is the fullness of God. The dominating thought is that Christ is all I need; He is everything. He is the primary object, and the thought passes downward to the church as the body of Christ.

Colossians was written to the local church at Colosse (with the principles to be applied by all local churches and believers) to counteract the heresy of Gnosticism, the first heresy in the church. There were many forms of Gnosticism, and in Colosse there were the Essenes. There are three points of identification for this group: (1) They had an exclusive spirit. They felt that they were the people—they had knowledge in the jug and held the stopper in their hands. Thus, they felt that they were super-duper in knowledge and knew more than anyone else, including the Apostles. (2) They held speculative tenets on creation. They taught that God did not create the universe directly, but created a creature who in turn created another creature, until one finally created the physical universe. Christ was considered a creature in this long series of creations.  Paul refutes this in Colossians 1:15-19. (3) They practiced asceticism and unrestrained licentiousness. They got the asceticism from the influence of Greek Stoicism and the unrestrained licentiousness from the influence of Greek Epicureanism. Paul refutes this in Colossians 2.16, 23 and 3.5-9.

See, J. Vernon McGee, Colossians for more on this.

Christ, the fullness of God, poured out in life through believers, Chapters 3 and 4.

Colossians 3.5-4.6 is to lengthy to reproduce

Questions:

Christ, the fullness of God, poured out in life through believers, Chapters 3 and 4.
Review the answers to some of the more
difficult fill in the blank questions before attempting to answer:

Colossians 3.5-4.6: Living of Believers is Holy

  1. If we are truly risen with Christ this will be evident in ______ area(s) of our lives which (is)(are):

    a, our personal holiness
    b. our fellowship with others who are about us
    c. our friendship with the world
    d. a and b (a. our personal holiness; b. our fellowship with others who are about us)
  2. Colossians 3.5 tells believers to mortify certain sins. Mortify means to put to _______. Fornication means sexual _____________. Other sins listed in verse 5 are ______________ (includes thoughts, words, gestures, and bad jokes); _____________ ____________ (uncontrolled passion or lust); evil concupiscence (evil desires); and covetousness which is idolatry (wanting more or wanting what belongs to others). “The ______ of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6.10).
  3. Those things in verse 6 bring “the _______ of God on the children of _______________.” Believers walked in the sins above before they were ________. (See Colossians 3.6-7).
  4. Believers also put off ________ (over the wrong things; some anger is justified), ________ (anger that becomes an unforgiving spirit), _________ (and that tries to take revenge and get even), ____________ (defaming the name of God (blasphemy against God); lying about someone else (blasphemy against another person), _________ ________________ out of their mouths (foul communication that is abusive or filthy). (See verse 8).
  5. The church at Colosse had put off the _____ _____ with his deeds and put on the “_____ _____ which is renewed in knowledge after the image of _____ that created him” (Colossians 3.9-10).
  6. “Where there is neither ________ nor _____, _______________ nor ________________, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but ________ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3.11).
  7. In the doctrinal section of Colossians, we learned that Christ is the fullness of ______ and head of His ___________. Believers have been made complete in _____, not in any man-made legal or philosophical __________.
  8. Colossians 3.12-17 teaches us that, since we have risen with Christ, it will lead us to holiness in our relationship to _________. Verses 18-21 deal with holiness in the _______. Verses 22-25 and Chapter 4, verse 1deal with holiness on the _____. Paul deals with the same things that he dealt with in Ephesians.

    Many questions could be added on all those verses. However, churches would be advised to study those verses out for themselves. Following are just a few questions.
  9. __________ is the bond of perfectness. The believers at Colosse are called in one _______ (as is every New Testament church). The word of ________ is to dwell in them richly and they are to ________ and ___________ one another in ________ and ________ and spiritual _______. The new man in holiness is exhibited to ________, in the ______, and on the _____ as these verses point out. “Ye serve the ______ ________.”
  10. Chapter 4, verses 2-6 present more important areas of Christian conduct. They are:

    a. prayer
    b. public walk
    c. speech
    d. all of the above
    e. a and c
  11. As Colossians 4.2 makes clear, _________ and ___________ go together. “Nevertheless we made our ________ unto our God, and set a ________ against them day and night, because of them” (Nehemiah 4:9). Watch and pray with _______________.
  12. Pray that God will open unto us (every believer) “a ______ of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4.3, 4). Every believer should seek an open ______ to serve the Lord. “Redeeming the ______” (Colossians 4.5). When the ___________ sees an opportunity to serve the Lord, when a door is opened, he should pray that the Lord will _______
  13. The believer’s speech is to be “always with ________, seasoned with _______, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every _____.”

    Fellowship of Believers Is Hearty (Colossians 4.7-18).
  14. In Colossians 4.7-18, we come to a list of ________ of people whom Paul knew. They were in the midst of ___________, but they were   Paul had a tremendous, far-reaching ministry. Many of the people named here lived in Ephesus. Paul had never been to Rome nor had he been to Colosse, yet he lists people he knew, many of whom were from those two cities. This indicates that he had led many people to Christ who returned home to cities he was never able to reach directly or personally.
  15. ___________” was the pastor of the church in _________ (See Ephesians 6.21, Acts 20.4, 1n3 2 Timothy 4.12)..
  16. ___________” was a slave of ___________ in __________. He had run away from his master, and Paul led him to the Lord. He was now being sent back. Paul calls ___________ his “___________ and __________
  17. ______________” was a _________ __________ with Paul, and he was his friend.
  18. _________” is John _______, the nephew of Barnabas—the son of his sister. He is the writer of the Gospel of ______. ______ left Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and because of this Paul did not want to take him along on the second missionary journey. Paul was wrong in his judgment of ______ ______, who made good. Paul acknowledges that here (“__________ him”). Paul mentions John Mark again in his second letter to Timothy: “Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is ______________ to me for the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
  19. ________ (Justus) was Jewish (of the _______________). The Colossian church was mostly __________, but there were a few Jews in that church. These men are wonderful brethren, helpers of _______, and great missionaries themselves.
  20. ____________ was the pastor in __________. Now he is in prison. His new ministry there is _________.
  21. __________, ___________, and _____________, are close together.
  22. _______ is the beloved physician. When Paul first mentioned Demas (Philemon 1.24), he called him a “_________________.” Later on, _______, will ___________
  23. ______________, at that time, met in _________ (see verse 15). Churches started in the home. True churches are going to come back to the ________, as they have in many countries where they are persecuted.
  24. These epistles of Paul are to be __________ by the churches (See verse 16. Paul does not say that he had written an epistle to the Laodiceans. The letters of Paul were being circulated around.)
  25. We do not know anything more about “______________” than is mentioned here. But the Lord had given him a ____________ and Paul urges him to fulfill it. This advice can be extrapolated to everyone to whom the Lord has given a ___________. Of course, if possible, that ministry is to be fulfilled under the authority of a local New Testament ________.
  26. For the second time Paul says, “Remember my ________—or pray for me. “________ be with you. Amen.” Paul wrote to a church he had never __________, but he knew many of the people and led them to knowledge of the _______ _________ ___________.

Answers

Colossians 3.5-4.6: Living of Believers is Holy

  1. If we are truly risen with Christ this will be evident in two area(s) of our lives which (is)(are):

    d. a and b (a. our personal holiness; b. our fellowship with others who are about us)
  2. Colossians 3.5 tells believers to mortify certain sins. Mortify means to put to death. Fornication means sexual immorality. Other sins listed in verse 5 are uncleanness (includes thoughts, words, gestures, and bad jokes); inordinate affection (uncontrolled passion or lust); evil concupiscence (evil desires); and covetousness which is idolatry (wanting more or wanting what belongs to others). “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6.10).
  3. Those things in verse 6 bring “the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.” Believers walked in the sins above before they were saved. (See Colossians 3.6-7).
  4. Believers also put off anger (over the wrong things; some anger is justified), wrath (anger that becomes an unforgiving spirit), malice (and that tries to take revenge and get even), blasphemy (defaming the name of God (blasphemy against God); lying about someone else (blasphemy against another person), filthy communication out of their mouths (foul communication that is abusive or filthy). (See verse 8).
  5. The church at Colosse had put off the old man with his deeds and put on the “new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3.9-10).
  6. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3.11).
  7. In the doctrinal section of Colossians, we learned that Christ is the fullness of God and head of His churches. Believers have been made complete in Him, not in any man-made legal or philosophical system.
  8. Colossians 3.12-17 teaches us that, since we have risen with Christ, it will lead us to holiness in our relationship to others. Verses 18-21 deal with holiness in the home. Verses 22-25 and Chapter 4, verse 1deal with holiness on the job. Paul deals with the same things that he dealt with in Ephesians.

    Many questions could be added on all those verses. However, churches would be advised to study those verses out for themselves. Following are just a few questions.
  9. Charity is the bond of perfectness. The believers at Colosse are called in one body (as is every New Testament church). The word of Christ is to dwell in them richly and they are to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The new man in holiness is exhibited to others, in the home, and on the job as these verses point out. “Ye serve the Lord Christ.”
  10. Chapter 4, verses 2-6 present more important areas of Christian conduct. They are:

    d. all of the above (prayer, public walk, speech)
  11. As Colossians 4.2 makes clear, prayer and watching go together. “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them” (Nehemiah 4:9). Watch and pray with thanksgiving.
  12. Pray that God will open unto us (every believer) “a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4.3, 4). Every believer should seek an open door to serve the Lord. “Redeeming the time” (Colossians 4.5). When the believer sees an opportunity to serve the Lord, when a door is opened, he should pray that the Lord will lead
  13. The believer’s speech is to be “always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

    Fellowship of Believers Is Hearty (Colossians 4.7-18).
  14. In Colossians 4.7-18, we come to a list of names of people whom Paul knew. They were in the midst of paganism, but they were   Paul had a tremendous, far-reaching ministry. Many of the people named here lived in Ephesus. Paul had never been to Rome nor had he been to Colosse, yet he lists people he knew, many of whom were from those two cities. This indicates that he had led many people to Christ who returned home to cities he was never able to reach directly or personally.
  15. Tychicus” was the pastor of the church in Ephesus (See Ephesians 6.21, Acts 20.4, 1n3 2 Timothy 4.12)..
  16. Onesimus” was a slave of Philemon in Colosse. He had run away from his master, and Paul led him to the Lord. He was now being sent back. Paul calls Onesimus his “faithful and beloved
  17. Aristarchus” was a fellow prisoner with Paul, and he was his friend.
  18. Marcus” is John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas—the son of his sister. He is the writer of the Gospel of Mark. Mark left Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, and because of this Paul did not want to take him along on the second missionary journey. Paul was wrong in his judgment of John Mark, who made good. Paul acknowledges that here (“receive him”). Paul mentions John Mark again in his second letter to Timothy: “Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).
  19. Jesus (Justus) was Jewish (of the circumcision). The Colossian church was mostly Gentile, but there were a few Jews in that church. These men are wonderful brethren, helpers of Paul, and great missionaries themselves.
  20. Epaphras was the pastor in Colosse. Now he is in prison. His new ministry there is prayer.
  21. Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis, are close together.
  22. Luke is the beloved physician. When Paul first mentioned Demas (Philemon 1.24), he called him a “fellowlaborer.” Later on, Demas, will forsake
  23. Christians, at that time, met in homes (see verse 15). Churches started in the home. True churches are going to come back to the home, as they have in many countries where they are persecuted.
  24. These epistles of Paul are to be shared by the churches (See verse 16. Paul does not say that he had written an epistle to the Laodiceans. The letters of Paul were being circulated around.)
  25. We do not know anything more about “Árchippus” than is mentioned here. But the Lord had given him a ministry and Paul urges him to fulfill it. This advice can be extrapolated to everyone to whom the Lord has given a ministry. Of course, if possible, that ministry is to be fulfilled under the authority of a local New Testament church.
  26. For the second time Paul says, “Remember my bonds—or pray for me. “Grace be with you. Amen.” Paul wrote to a church he had never visited, but he knew many of the people and led them to knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.