Today we are going to start looking at Ephesians 3. We will see how even as a prisoner, Paul had hope and wanted to continue to share the gospel with others.
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
Paul describes himself as a prisoner, which he was. He was under house arrest in Rome. However, he did not say he was a prisoner of the Roman soldiers, but a prisoner of Christ. Paul so closely associated himself with Christ he considered his imprisonment to be associated with the work he was doing for Christ. Paul recognized the sovereignty of Christ and was willing to suffer on His behalf.
“When we are undergoing hardship, unpopularity, material loss for the sake of Christian principles we may either regard ourselves as the victims of men or the champions of Christ. Paul is our example; he regarded himself, not as the prisoner of Nero, but as the prisoner of Christ.”1 We always have a choice on how we view our circumstances and our perspective can completely change our attitude.
When was the last time you experienced a hardship, struggle, unpopularity or loss because of your faith? When was the last time you were challenged to choose between the way of the world and the way of Christ? When we suffer for our faith, we need to keep in mind who we are suffering for and the suffering and sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. Are you willing to suffer for Christ?
- Scripture reference from http://www.biblegateway.com
- Quote from “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, The Daily Study Bible Series, William Barclay
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