2) He reminds Philemon that he thanks God for his Christian faith characterized by his love.
2) He speaks of Onesimus conversion and explains that he is not the same man who fled from Philemon. He is now a brother in Christ.
2) Paul pleads for Philemon to accept Onesimus just as he would have accepted Paul if he were coming back.
2. Onesimus is a type of man who has sinned against the Father, and because of his sin, he has been separated from the Father.
3. Onesimus being apprehended and put in prison is a type of the bonds of sin.
4. Paul is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2) Paul tells Philemon to receive Onesimus as he would receive Paul. Here is a picture of Jesus paying the price for our sins, thereby enabling God to receive us just as He would receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Picture Paul coming to see Philemon. They had been good friends. Paul had won Philemon to Christ. What a wonderful reception would be his! Paul pleads for this same reception for Onesimus. Here is a picture of Jesus pleading for us at the right hand of God the Father.
3) Paul beseeches Philemon not to receive Onesimus as a servant, but as a brother beloved. Here is a picture of the sinner coming to Jesus Christ and Jesus becoming his intercessor. We can come back to the Father because of Jesus, but we do not come back as a servant; we come back as a brother beloved, a brother to our older Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. We come back to a higher standing than we had before we fell. In other words, when we come to the Father through Jesus, we are as welcome as Jesus is when He comes to the father.
4) Onesimus is to be received "for ever." Notice this in verse 15. Just as verse 16 says he should be received "Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved," and verse 17 says, ". . .receive him as myself," we read in verse 15, ". . .receive him for ever." Here is a picture of our eternal salvation. When we come to Christ, He receives us forever! Here is a beautiful picture of salvation: Philemon, the Father; Paul, the Saviour; Onesimus, the sinner. It is all by mercy.
5) The letter of Philemon is a type of the Word of God. What did Onesimus bring when he returned to Philemon? Did he bring his own merit? No. Did he bring his own goodness? No. Did he promise to turn over a new leaf? No. He was guilty. He could not pay his own debt. The only hope he had was if Philemon would honor the letter from Paul. Here is the type of the sinner. Our only hope is for God to honor His Word. The Word of God is our hope for Heaven, just as the letter was Onesimus' hope for restoration and acceptance before Philemon.