Paul helps his friend Philemon reconcile with his escaped former slave Onesimus.
Paul urges Philemon to forgive Onesimus and accept him back as an equal. Because they are both followers of Jesus, God's grace has made them partners under the new humanity that Jesus has established.
While Paul doesn't mention Jesus' death and resurrection directly in this letter, he offers to take on any punishment Onesimus deserves, a demonstration of what Jesus did on the cross. He encourages Philemon to do the same as he reconciles to Onesimus before God.
Living Out the Gospel's Message
One of Paul's shortest and the most explosive letters, the book of Philemon demonstrates the Gospel through action. It's written to Philemon whose slave Onesimus ran away and became a believer under Paul's teaching.