This Lord’s Day we’ll come to Paul’s fourth and final argument in his advocacy for Onesimus. This is the weightiest of them all, striking so near to the very heart of Philemon, as he asks him to consider his love for and partnership for Paul himself. How Philemon treats Onesimus–who means so much to Paul–will be a testimony to what Philemon considers of his relationship with Paul. With the request finally put into words, Paul addresses the very practical matter of the debt Onesimus owed Philemon. It ought to be paid and yet Onesimus could not pay it. So Paul takes the debt upon himself and promises to pay it. If anyone has ever memorized verses from Philemon, it was probably vv.18-19 in which Paul speaks of assuming Onesimus’ debt. That’s because Paul’s unthinkable action beautifully pictures the very thing Christ has done for us. In fact, both Paul’s final plea in v.17 and his acting the part of a surety so closely resemble Christ’s intercession for us and Christ’s suretyship for us, that no passage in all of Philemon more effectively points us to Christ and His love as these.