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Philemon - Hebrews 1 Common English Bible (CEB)

Greeting

From Paul, who is a prisoner for the cause of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy.

To Philemon our dearly loved coworker, Apphia our sister, Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church that meets in your house.

May the grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Paul’s prayer for Philemon

Philemon, I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers because I’ve heard of your love and faithfulness, which you have both for the Lord Jesus and for all God’s people. I pray that your partnership in the faith might become effective by an understanding of all that is good among us in Christ. I have great joy and encouragement because of your love, since the hearts of God’s people are refreshed by your actions, my brother.

Paul’s appeal for Onesimus

Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to command you to do the right thing, I would rather appeal to you through love. I, Paul—an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus— 10 appeal to you for my child Onesimus. I became his father in the faith during my time in prison. 11 He was useless to you before, but now he is useful to both of us. 12 I’m sending him back to you, which is like sending you my own heart. 13 I considered keeping him with me so that he might serve me in your place during my time in prison because of the gospel. 14 However, I didn’t want to do anything without your consent so that your act of kindness would occur willingly and not under pressure. 15 Maybe this is the reason that Onesimus was separated from you for a while so that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—that is, as a dearly loved brother. He is especially a dearly loved brother to me. How much more can he become a brother to you, personally and spiritually in the Lord!

17 So, if you really consider me a partner, welcome Onesimus as if you were welcoming me. 18 If he has harmed you in any way or owes you money, charge it to my account. 19 I, Paul, will pay it back to you (I’m writing this with my own hand). Of course, I won’t mention that you owe me your life.

20 Yes, brother, I want this favor from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 I’m writing to you, confident of your obedience and knowing that you will do more than what I ask. 22 Also, one more thing—prepare a guest room for me. I hope that I will be released from prison to be with you because of your prayers.

Final greeting

23 Epaphras, who is in prison with me for the cause of Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as well as my coworkers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke.

25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

The Son is God’s ultimate messenger

In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him. The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being. He maintains everything with his powerful message. After he carried out the cleansing of people from their sins, he sat down at the right side of the highest majesty. And the Son became so much greater than the other messengers, such as angels, that he received a more important title than theirs.

Speaking to the Son and angels

After all, when did God ever say to any of the angels:

You are my Son.
        Today I have become your Father?[a]

Or, even,

I will be his Father,
        and he will be my Son?[b]

But then, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said,

All of God’s angels must worship him.[c]

He talks about the angels:

He’s the one who uses the spirits for his messengers
        and who uses flames of fire as ministers.[d]

But he says to his Son,

God, your throne is forever
        and your kingdom’s scepter is a rod of justice.
You loved righteousness and hated lawless behavior.
        That is why God, your God,
        has anointed you with oil instead of your companions.[e]

10 And he says,

You, Lord, laid the earth’s foundations in the beginning,
        and the heavens are made by your hands.
11 They will pass away,
        but you remain.
They will all wear out like old clothes.
12         You will fold them up like a coat.
They will be changed like a person changes clothes,
        but you stay the same,
        and the years of your life won’t come to an end.[f]

13 When has he ever said to any of the angels,

Sit at my right side
        until I put your enemies under your feet like a footstool?[g]

14 Aren’t all the angels ministering spirits who are sent to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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