1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow-worker,
2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always, making mention of thee in my prayers,
5 hearing of thy love, and of the faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints;
6 that the fellowship of thy faith may become effectual, in the knowledge of every good thing which is in you, unto Christ.
7 For I had much joy and comfort in thy love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through thee, brother.
8 Wherefore, though I have all boldness in Christ to enjoin thee that which is befitting,
9 yet for love's sake I rather beseech, being such a one as Paul the aged, and now a prisoner also of Christ Jesus:
10 I beseech thee for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus,
11 who once was unprofitable to thee, but now is profitable to thee and to me:
12 whom I have sent back to thee in his own person, that is, my very heart:
13 whom I would fain have kept with me, that in thy behalf he might minister unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
14 but without thy mind I would do nothing; that thy goodness should not be as of necessity, but of free will.
15 For perhaps he was therefore parted from thee for a season, that thou shouldest have him for ever;
16 no longer as a servant, but more than a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much rather to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 If then thou countest me a partner, receive him as myself.
18 But if he hath wronged thee at all, or oweth thee aught, put that to mine account;
19 I Paul write it with mine own hand, I will repay it: that I say not unto thee that thou owest to me even thine own self besides.
20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Having confidence in thine obedience I write unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do even beyond what I say.
22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted unto you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow-prisoner in Christ Jesus, saluteth thee;
24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow-workers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)