Dying with Christ (Rom 6:5) Means Dying to Our Controlling of Others and Fully Giving Them their Freedom. Philemon 8-16
Paul died to control tactics. His great desire was that Philemon would forgive and emancipate Onesimus from his sin against and betrayal of Philemon. Paul had the right to pull rank on Philemon and dictate to Him how he should treat Onesimus upon Onesimus' return. But, no. Paul rather appealed to Philemon in love totally giving Philemon the free will to choose his own action toward Onesimus. Philemon would have been well within legal rights to punish Onesimus and return him to bondage. This would be the law way, not the grace way. Check out the scripture below:
Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to ORDER you to do what is proper, yet FOR LOVE'S SAKE I rather appeal to you--since I am such a person as Paul, the AGED (means Paul is sourced in the new age new creation mentality not in the old age mentality), and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment. . . no longer (Onesimus) as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. PhIlemon 8-10, 16.
In so doing Paul lived the gospel of the cross, the lifestyle of the cross: dying to all fleshly tactics or carnal weapons of force, coercion, pressure, bullying, intimidation, penalty, violence, etc, but in love fully giving people their free will.
Have you ever thought that this way of the cross is the very character of God? He never tries to get you to act right through threats or fear of punishment. He only operates thru unconditional love. Perfect love casts out fear of punishment. 1 Jn 4:18. ...