Ephesian 3:1 – Paul was a prisoner of Christ for the Gentiles.
Paul was literally in prison because he dared to show the Judeo Christians that they still held prejudices against the Gentiles. Paul dared to confront them with their sin and it landed him in prison. As a follower in Christ we may face the same risks. We might not end up in jail here in the United States but in some countries missionary’s do. No, here in the United States our prisons are our own backyards, our churches and our own belief system. The devil works hard to keep us prisoners for him instead of being a prisoner for Christ.
The devil does this several ways. First of all he likes to keep us prisoner to our past sins. We forget that we are a new creation in Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17). Psalms 103: 12 says it best: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Hallelujah! But how many times do we drudge up our past sin and wallow in it and throw ourselves a pity party?
Another way the devil tries to keep us prisoner is through false doctrines in the church. We are prisoners to rituals and traditions and false teachings created by men and are often not supported by the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5 states “ That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.” So many churches have fallen into the trap of rituals and traditions. How sad that God is not allowed freedom to move in the church and to change the direction of the church so that the needs of His people are met!
The devil will also keep us prisoner to our old belief system. “Well, we’ve always done it this way” sayings horrify me. Just as the Jews were prejudiced against the Gentiles in the early church we too have some of the same prejudices. We are prejudiced in regards to race, nationality and even wealth and social statuses. The Ephesus Judeo Christians were basically saying “It’s always been this way. Why are you trying to change things now?” We hold so tightly to our old belief system and it makes us resistant to hear from God and to follow His lead.
After studying this one little verse, I had to ask myself who am I a prisoner of? Am I a prisoner of Jesus Christ or am I a prisoner of Satan?
Who are you a prisoner of?
Dear Jesus, I want to be Your prisoner! I bow down my will and I seek Your will for my life. When satan tries to buffet me with guilt from my past I will remember to whom I belong. When he tries to take me prisoner I will remember I am Yours . I will remember John 17:10: and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. Lord, I give You all of me!