Philemon 1:21 “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.”
Having confidence in your obedience,
Paul had confidence that Philemon would treat Onesimus well. The word “obedience” is a stronger word than his more indirect previous appeals. This “obedience” is not to a command of Paul but to the will of God. Paul understood something about Philemon’s commitment to the will of God.
I write to you,
The freedom of Onesimus is the purpose of the epistle to Philemon.
knowing that you will do even more than I say
Paul anticipated that Philemon would do more than his request to forgive Onesimus and refresh the apostle Paul. Paul’s high view and expectation of Philemon is further motivation to Philemon.
Is 32: 8 “But a generous man devises generous things,
And by generosity he shall stand.”
The “more than I say” may imply that Philemon will free Onesimus and maybe even permit him to go back to Rome to minister to the apostle Paul. Grace always goes beyond duty.
Grace goes beyond duty.
Grace is always magnanimous and far-reaching. It goes beyond duty and necessity. Grace always has its root in the believer’s volition. Grace does not need coercion to motivate it. It does what it does because of God’s grace in the heart.
Confidence in others leaves them with an opportunity to do more than what is necessary. Confidence does not preclude the responsibility of addressing concerns we might have about their future action.
It is wise to trust God’s people. This is the appeal of expectancy. Having high expectations from God’s people will result in mutual trust and effective ministry.