Paul the Prisoner

Ephesians 3:1

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles

I was surprised to find out that Paul was a prisoner for 5 to 6 years. During these times, he was transported around a lot. He was even shipwrecked en route to Rome. He knew however that he would survive the sinking ship he was riding because the Holy Spirit already told him that he would be preaching in Rome.

 

  1. Reason
    • Having said everything else from Ephesians 1 and 2 (i.e. salvation being a gift, a grace, the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles in Christ, having been predestined for his glory, being prepared for good works, Christ’s power in work in us, being previously dead in sin, being temples of the Holy Spirit), Paul now continues to discuss grace being apportioned to the gentiles.
    • Paul knew the reason why he was in prison was because he was the ambassador for the gentiles.
    • Do I understand and accept that everything that happens, even if I were a prisoner in a dungeon like Paul, happens for God’s glory? Or do I go about complaining, “Why me?” The right question should always be, “Why not me?”
  2. Identity
    • Paul could have identified himself as a healer, a prophet, an apostle, a disciple, but here, he identified himself as a prisoner.
    • He was literally a prisoner, but more than that, he identified himself to be bound by Christ. Bound by his love for him, bound by his obedience to him.
    • Do I consider myself a prisoner of Christ, ready to obey my “warden’s” orders? Being at his mercy each time? Do I serve God with fear or do I have little reverence for him?
  3. Authority
    • Paul knew his authority was Jesus. In fact, he did not say that he was a prisoner of the Romans or of the Jews even though he was imprisoned by the Romans because of the Jews.
    • He was a prisoner of Jesus. He knew that he was there not because of what the Jews did or what the Romans had decided to do with him, but because it was what God wanted.
    • Do I live a life with Jesus as the authority? Do I understand that God is sovereign? If something bad happens to be, do I agree that it was God who allowed it to happen?
  4. Purpose
    • The amazing thing with Paul, and with other godly men and women is that they knew their specific mission. Paul was tasked to share the gospel specifically to the gentiles and to unite Jews and Gentile Christians. Moses was tasked to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Solomon was tasked to build a temple.
    • Each one of us has an assignment, and that assignment is the purpose of our existence. Our assignment will always fit like a puzzle to God’s greater purposes, just like how Paul was imprisoned for 5 years and was able to write the prison ministries such as Ephesians.
    • Do I know my calling? In the past months I have been specifically praying for this. I don’t know what my specific purpose it. I want to know where I can best serve God. What is my specific mission? I want to serve him where I can best serve Him.
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