The Apostle's Concluding Appeal
Philemon 1:21, 22
Having confidence in your obedience I wrote to you, knowing that you will also do more than I say.

He now glides insensibly into the language of authority, which all along he had a right to assume. "Having confidence in thine obedience, I write unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do even beyond what I say."

I. THE MOST WILLING MAY BE FAIRLY URGED TO THE COURSE OF DUTY. The apostle assures Philemon that he does not doubt his obedience, yet he thinks it necessary to stir up his pure mind to a remembrance of his obligations.

1. An obedient people make zealous ministers.

2. A good conscience ensures confidence in the wise and zealous conduct of life. "Credit and a good conscience are shipped both in one bottom."

3. A good heart entitles us to expect a liberal construction of the extent of our duty. The apostle seems here to hint that Philemon might possibly manumit his slave. That the apostle had not demanded; yet it was within the possible scope of Philemon's liberal understanding of his duty to Onesimus.

II. THE APOSTLE BESPEAKS, ON HIS APPROACHING VISIT TO COLOSSAE, A FAVORABLE RECEPTION TO ONESMIUS. "But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted to you."

1. The presence of the apostle at Colossae would enable him to see that his expectations had not been disappointed. A Puritan writer says, "Who would not willingly receive Onesimus, coming as Paul's harbinger, to provide him lodging?"

2. The most eminent servants of God need the forayers of the humblest in his Church.

(1) Because they are exposed to many dangers and temptations.

(2) Because they have a responsible charge in God's kingdom.

(3) Because their liberty to preach the gospel is often threatened, if not temporarily destroyed, by wicked men.

(4) The apostle believed in the efficacy of prayer. The prayers of the Colossian household would or might unlock his prison-doors. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

WEB: Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say.

Super-Abounding Obedience
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