NOT ANY PRISONER….BUT OF THE LORD.Unique in referring to himself as the Prisoner of the Lord but not singular. The language of a captor rings common through the NT.Q: What it meant to Paul and lessons for us.We will ask ourselves questions.
Prisoner: person deprived of liberty and kept under involuntary restraint, confinement, or custody especially: one on trial or in prisonMerriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.Some years ago, the most married man in the world was found in Yugoslavia. It happened this way: A young woman confided to her girl cousin of her impending marriage to a man. The bridegroom was so shy and timid that he wanted to keep the marriage a secret. The cousin got curious. She got a glimpse of the bridegroom after the secret wedding, and recognized him as her own husband. He had also married her secretly, claiming to be shy and timid. That was only a beginning. A total of 50 women came forward and claimed that he had individually married them. In each case, he was the same bashful bridegroom. They called him Ivanhoe the Terrible, breaker of women’s hearts. He was a traveling salesman, going from wife to wife by plane, supporting all 50 of them, with the explanation to each that his duties as a traveling salesman kept him away so much of the time. They put him in jail, and he begged to stay there. He’d rather be sent to prison than face those fifty wives.Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.
During his second missionary journey (late 49 A.D.) Paul spends an unspecified timein a Philippian jail cell with fellow evangelist Silas.Paul is arrested in 58 A.D. by Roman troops who save him from being killed in a temple riot. He is taken to Caesarea where he spends a little more than two years in prison.In 60 A.D. Paul as prisoner is taken to Rome. When his case is heard he is acquitted in the Spring of 63 A.D.Paul is back in a Roman prison in the city of Rome in 67 A.D. Paul stays in jail until he is put to death by the Romans around May or June 68 A.D.During his ministry the Apostle Paul spends roughly 5 1/2 to 6 years as a prisoner or in prison.* The New Testament In Its Original Order: A Faithful Version With Commentary, Appendix QPaul at Damascus37-40 ADFirst Journey45-47 ADSecond Journey51-53 ADThird Journey54-58 ADImprisonment in Judea58-60 ADVoyage to Rome60-61 ADImprisonment in Rome61-63 ADPost-Imprisonment Journeys63-67 AD
Do not forget there is pain – probably tears - sacrifice – cost – Not a compilation of meaningless words.
Words of encouragement…. 1 cor 4:16. Be ye imitators of me. I can say this as a fellow human, that having followed this Man Jesus Christ, I can say we can remain a prisoner of Christ.Looking at the situation through the eyes of the Lord and not looking to the Lord through your situation.Daniel Gilbert (a psychology professor at Harvard) drew from the 2009 Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index and stated that the Index showed "that Americans are smiling less and worrying more than they were a year ago, that happiness is down and sadness is up, that we are getting less sleep and smoking more cigarettes, that depression is on the rise.“He stated that the real problem is not financial—not having enough money, but something else: Uncertainty. People don't know what's going to happen. Will I have a job next week? What's ahead in the future for me? Daniel Gilbert summarized, "An uncertain future leaves us stranded in an unhappy present with nothing to do but wait … Our national gloom is real enough, but it isn't a matter of insufficient funds. It's a matter of insufficient certainty." (Daniel Gilbert, "What You Don't Know Makes You Nervous," (9-21-09); as seen in The Week magazine, (6-5-09), p. 14)
Ps 69:33. For the LORD hears the poor, And does not despise His prisoners.Prisoner of Hope:Zech 9:12. the children of this world are not prisoners of hope, they are prisoners under condemnation; they wait, not to be emancipated, but to be executed; blindest infatuation to give up God's future for man's present .Paul looking at circumstances through the eyes of His Lord and not at the Lord, as if He were external and aloof, embittered and depressed in his misery.
Really who’s prisoner are you today.It was as if Jesus asked Martha that day...who’s prisoner are you? Prisoner of wanting to do something for me or prisoner of me....sense of accomplishment or sense of me?
Let’s stay a little longer to get a personal application. Learning for ourselves to be the “Prisoner of the Lord”.
RIGHTS: I will be your prisoner if you…RELINQUISHMENT: You may make me a prisoner on Sundays, on the other days of the week, you become my prisoner.REPRESENTATION: provide, protect and make me comfortable.RENUMERATION: pay me $50/hr and I will be your prisoner.
There is only one thing that can render the soul happy in looking forward into the future, and that is the knowledge of God's redeeming love in giving His Son to be a perfect sacrifice for sin. Until this is known, the mind will never reach beyond the question of mere individual salvation, which, after all, is but selfishness.
Jesus is a not friend with benefits. He must be Lord. It is not about us getting what we want and complaining that God doesn’t hear me. Not about life dealing a bad hand.No other position to be in but to be a prisoner of the Lord.
TRUTH OF God is always counter cultural. There is a high premium on personal liberty and freedom and choice.Let’s cut through to the next level : a phrase used to describe the relationship between Christ and His followers in the NT.Grace saves and we are glad, but grace also SLAVES and I am not making it up.
To write the name upon anything is a common figurative expression in Hebrew to denote taking absolute possessions of and making completely one`s own. The slave
As the praetorian guard was converted, salvation spread beyond them to "those of Caesar's household (Phil. 4:22). Philippians 1:13 reads, "My bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace" (Paul became headline news--he became known "to everyone else" (Phil 1:13)(v. 14)"Most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear."
So some may ask…The paradox of christianity.
The only begotten Son of God took on the form of a slave (Phil 2:7) so that the slaves of sin might become both slaves of righteousness and sons of God.
In our will, in wanting our way, in living a independent life of self-choice – we’d be prisoners of Christ. Not my will but thine be done. I am willing to accept the station in my life that He has placed me in.In my position I am the son of God. I am in training time, for the reigning time. I will not take the position by might or right but by submission. Not a language that I DESERVE it, or I NEED it or I am WORTH it.Taking up your cross is the in the same line – not having an authority that is my own.
A man was being tailgated by a woman when the traffic light turned yellow just in front of him. When he came to a rather sudden stop, the tailgating woman hit the horn - screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get thought the intersection. In mid-rant, she looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.After a couple of hours, she was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, and using really bad language with the man in front of you. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.” We are called to live (and drive!) consistent with our calling.
HumilityPutting up with each other’s quirks.
The same measuring cup that was used to serve up Christ is used to measure out grace for living it.
Correction is different from edification.
Prisoner of Christ
“I therefore, the Prisoner of the Lord...” Ephesians 4:1<br />Prisoner of the Lord<br />
What it meant to be a Roman Prisoner?<br />Uniform: What the prisoner wore when they came. Would deteriorate soon due to dampness and overuse.<br />Lighting: No natural light. After sunset no light was permitted. Negative psychological impact.<br />Chains: Around 7 kgs. Rough iron. Rusting leading to infection. Sound of constant creaking and limbs can become useless due to malnourishment and disuse.<br />Food: Half the portion of a slave. Nourishment and survival only on what family/friends brought in.<br />Bedding: Cold floor or a rough sleeping pallet. <br />Blanket: Their outer cloak they wore during the day. (2 Tim 4:13).<br />Hygiene: Terribly unclean. No baths, no haircut. Lice, bedbugs and infection. Overcrowded. No toilet facilities. The dead were piled up in a corner till later.<br />
How long did Paul spend in prison?<br />A total of <br />6 years <br />approx.<br />Or 1/5th of his ministry.<br />I <br />earn<br />Frequent<br />Jail Miles<br /> The New Testament In Its Original Order: A Faithful Version With Commentary, Appendix Q<br />
Prisoner<br />of the Lord<br />Hear the heart’s attitude <br />of the Apostle!<br />
I’m Not a prisoner of…<br />Conditions<br />Circumstance<br />Campaign<br />Cares<br />Chance<br />Consequences<br />Condemnation<br />
Hi! I am Paul, <br />a Prisoner of Jesus Christ.<br />
What does it mean to be<br />the Prisoner of the Lord?<br />
Mamertine Prison, Rome.—<br />The Subterranean Cell in Which St. Paul and St. Peter are Said to Have Been Confined<br />What does it mean to be a Prisoner <br />Rights: No rights; No demands.<br />Relinquishment: Absolute and complete surrender.<br />Representation: No representation; Be my protector; Total loss of self identity.<br />Remuneration: No rewards; No expectations.<br />
`Personal ambition, personal fulfillment, personal gratification – these have all become part of the language of evangelical Christianity – and part of what it means to have a `personal relationship with Jesus Christ`. Instead of teaching the New Testament gospel – where sinners are called to submit to Christ – the contemporary message is exactly the opposite: Jesus is here to fulfill all your wishes. Likening Him to a personal assistant or a personal trainer, many churchgoers speak of a personal saviour who is eager to do their bidding and help them in their quest for self-satisfaction or individual accomplishment.<br />--John MacArthur. Slave. The Hidden Truth about Your Identity In Christ. Page 14-15.<br />
Question 2:<br />Is He just a Personal Savior or is He your Lord?<br />
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.<br />Romans 6:17-18.<br />
Doulos = Slave<br />EUPHEMISM IN TRANSLATION<br />Doulos appears 124 times in the original text.<br />Greek language has almost half a dozen words that can mean servant but never DOULOS.<br />
John 15:15 seems to make the ‘slave ‘ language redundant. However, apostles of Christ refer to themselves as ‘Slaves of Christ’ long afterwards. Even friendship required submission (Jn 15:14). Jesus was not treating them just as slaves but also<br />as both friends and confidant. Slaves were not privy to what the Master was doing.<br />Abstract from Harris, Slaves of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: Inner Varsity Press. 1999.<br />
1 Peter 2:9. `But you are a chosen race, <br /> a royal priesthood, a holy nation, <br /> a people for his own possession...`<br />1 Cor 6:20. for you were bought with a price. <br /> So glorify God in your body.<br />Rev 22:4. `They will see his face, <br /> and his name will be on their foreheads`.<br />
Still expecting a reward for being a Prisoner?<br />
The<br />UnprofitableDoulos<br />So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.<br />Luke 17:10.<br />Traditional prison in Philippi where Paul and Silas were held <br />
AFTER CHRIST<br /><ul><li>Apostle to the gentiles
Trained Leaders</li></ul>BEFORE CHRIST<br /><ul><li>Skybalon. Phil 3:8</li></ul> I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.<br />2 Tim 4:7-8<br />
Question 3:<br />Do you want to be held a captive by Him?<br />
Gal 4:7. So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.<br />
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage (douleia: slavery or condition of a slave) again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom 8:15.<br />
Like the cross, slavery is both paradigm and paradox. The cross, the most excruciating and pervasive symbol of suffering and death in the first century has come to represent for the followers of Jesus the only way to peace and life. In the same sense slavery, which represents the total denial of freedom, becomes for the follower of Christ, the Servant Saviour, the only means to the realization of the true freedom…[Jesus] came in the form of a slave, not to offer us freedom from slavery but a new kind of slavery that is freedom.<br />Michael Card. A Better Freedom (Downers grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2009. 23-24.<br />
Our Example is Christ Himself<br />Heb 5:5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you";<br />Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.<br />
Hi! I`m Bond, <br />James Bond Servant of the Lord. <br />James 1:1<br />
Question 4:<br />What is our heart’s attitude?<br />
Once our heart understands the attitude of the apostle, we are then ready to read the <br />rest of the chapter.<br />
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,<br />Ephesians 4:1.<br />http://historylink102.com/italy/s-pauls-prison.htm<br />
I Eph 4:1. Calling of a Christian<br />Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.<br />
II Eph 4: 2. Character of a Christian<br />with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love<br />
III Eph 4:3. Constraint of a Christian<br />Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.<br />
IV Eph 4:4-6. Confidence of a Christian<br />There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call<br />
V Eph 4:7. Comfort of a Christian<br />…grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.<br />
VI Eph 4:8. Conquest of a Christian<br />… he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.<br />
VII Eph 4:11-12. Collaboration of a Christian<br />…For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,.<br />
Question 5:<br />Are you willing to work on this friendship?<br />