Philemon 23–25 (ESV) — 23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

As is the case with most of Paul’s letters, he signed off by listing others who were with him during the writing of the letter. Careful observation will notice that the list of names here is the same as found in Colossians 4:10-15. The two letters are believed to have been written together and sent out to their respective churches at the same time.

As Paul listed other names that Philemon would have no doubt been familiar with, it was a reminder that his decisions and actions were also being observed by others. The church is there to help us grow in our walk with Christ. Knowing that others are watching and ready to hold us accountable is part of the design of the body of Christ. We often treat church as a weekly event, but it is supposed to be much more than that. It is a family where we love one another and walk beside one another as we grow in Christ together.

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