Major Beliefs Day 58 – A Prisoner (Ephesians 3)
Ephesians 3:1 – “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you gentiles….”
John Bunyan the author of the classic, Pilgrim’s Progress once said “they may put me in prison but as long as I have Jesus and my Bible I will still have joy.” In other words there is nothing on this earth that could still his joy away, not even being put in prison. Why? Because he was a child of God. He knew that he was loved by God and that he had a hope beyond this world that nothing on this earth could take away from him. Bunyan would later be thrown into prison, he lost his freedom but he did not lose his joy.
Paul was the exact same way. He too was imprisoned. Thrown into jail. His freedom was seemingly gone. Paul however still talked about the freedom that he had in Jesus. Why? Because he had been in prison before. Not a prison of bars and walls, not a prison that was guarded by a Roman soldier, but a prison of his life. He was enslaved to sin. It had put him in a prison. He could do nothing but sin, that is until Jesus set him free. And as we are told “if the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed.” Paul was truly free, even when he was thrown into a prison cell.
Why was he in prison? For preaching the Gospel, for telling others about Jesus, for taking a stand for truth. He was thrown into prison but he was still free. He was chained but thanks be to God, through God’s amazing grace his other chains were gone. He was no longer a slave and a prisoner to sin, he had truly been set free. Because of that he willingly went to prison. He knew that nothing could steal away his joy and his relationship with Jesus. So even though he was in prison, he was set free. And as he said, “nothing can compare with the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus as his Savior and Lord.” It is so good that he gladly went to prison for it. To God be the glory!