Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
Paul begins the main body of his letter of request to Philemon by linking it to the previous paragraph with the word “therefore”. So, he’s saying because of all of the things I’ve just mentioned in the prayer paragraph, I am appealing to you as an old man in prison for Christ, and not as an apostle who can issue commends (which he still is).
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