(God has ways to get our attention.)
He must have told Paul what he had done to his Master. Paul counseled him and, no doubt told him he would have to go back to Philemon and make restitution. So Paul writes a letter on Onesimus behalf.
Paul is interceding on his behalf. In verse 17 he ask Philemon to "Receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee or oweth thee anything, put it on my account." In another place "I beseech thee for my son, Onesimus
whom I have begotten in my bonds." He was unprofitable in the past but he has had a change of heart and now Paul knew he would be profitable to Philemon as he had been to Paul. Paul would have like to keep him but knew that he belonged to another.
1. We are God's property, as was Onesimus the property of Philemon.
2. We robbed God, and ran away, but our Apostle and High Priest, found us, transformed us
and brought us back to to our Master (Jesus Christ) whom He, to God, the Father, besought to receive us as Himself.
3. God charged all our debts up to the account of Jesus Christ and we were free.
4. We wronged Him, and went out to hide from His presence in the crowd, but the Holy Spirit apprehended us.
5. The Roman law had a provision that a slave might become free so he could be adopted and freed.
We were born in sin and enslaved to Satan, but Jesus Christ with His shed Blood, freed us so we could be adopted into the family of God.
Read this book and compare:
Philemon - The Father
Onesimus - slave or sinner
Paul, the intercessor (Christ)