The Apostle Paul, imprisoned in Rome, chained to a Roman soldier day and night – could not possibly forget that he was in prison. Yet, he identified himself as a prisoner of Christ, (Vs. 1), NOT a prisoner of Rome. Paul refused to have a victim mentality. Instead, he used his time, trusting God and thanking Him for an opportunity to spread the Gospel.
Corrie Ten Boom (http://www.corrietenboom.com/index.html) said that where ever she was, that was where God wanted her to share the Gospel, even in a German concentration camp.
As Paul described his ministry to the Gentiles (Vs. 2), he was saying that his service was an expression of God’s Grace. Paul was a Jew. And when he met Christ on the road to Damascus, he was given a sudden flash of revelation. It was to the Gentiles that God was sending him, to open their eyes so they would turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Christ.
In vs. 1, Paul had begun a prayer for his Ephesian readers but suddenly in vs. 3, he changes course and speaks about the MYSTERY that was in Christ and about his own sense of responsibility to make known to the world that wonderful mystery.
In modern terms we think of a mystery as something we might see on TV, Murder She Wrote or NCIS…. But in the Biblical sense it is something that was previously unknown, but now known and something that was hidden in the past but now revealed.
Paul paid a huge price in serving The LORD. He wrote of some of his sufferings at the hands of the Jews in 2 Corinthians 11:24 & 25. He was lashed, beaten with rods, and even stoned and yet he considered the privilege to share the Gospel with the Gentiles a gift of God’s Grace.
Paul refers to his entire ministry as that of being a servant, a minister or a deacon, one who tends to the needs of others. Paul had a genuine sense of unworthiness to be saved or to serve God. 1 Tim. 1:13 says that he was “formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor and a arrogant man”. In fact, it had been on his orders that Steven had been stoned to death. So he was a murderer as well.
Join me as I ask myself, how am I serving Christ today?