Because of the transformational power of the Gospel, Paul boldly invites Philemon to receive Onesimus back into his household no longer as a bondservant, but instead as a brother. Though Onesimus had wronged Philemon before becoming a believer, he could now be restored to the family of God through the reconciliation that can only be found through Christ.
Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ…
and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.