Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | February 11, 2015

PRISONER OF FREEDOM

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PRISONER OR FREEDOM?
(Ephesians 3: 1) ‘For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles…’

Paul repeatedly calls himself a prisoner. Why? First, he is literally a prisoner. He has been imprisoned in Rome awaiting an appeal to Caesar for false charges of sedition that were leveled against him by Jewish leaders. Notice, however, he does not refer to himself as a prisoner of Rome, nor a prisoner of the Jewish leaders. Who does he state that he is a prisoner of? Jesus Christ. How can he be a prisoner of Jesus? Consider the metaphor he is using. From the world’s standpoint:

1. He is completely under the authority of the prison,
2. He cannot step outside of the boundaries of his captors.
3. He is totally dependent upon the prison for all of his needs.
4. He can do nothing that is outside the influence of the prison.
5. The prison sees everything that he does.
6. Disobedience results in immediate and thorough discipline.

Likewise, he sees himself as a prisoner of Christ in the same way. Yes, he is imprisoned on Christ’s behalf, but take a closer at the metaphor:

1. He is completely under the authority of Jesus Christ,
2. He cannot step outside of the boundaries of his faith that have been set by the Holy Spirit.
3. He is totally dependent upon the Lord for all of his needs.
4. He can do nothing that is outside the influence God.
5. The Lord sees everything that he does.
6. Disobedience results in immediate and thorough discipline from God.

If life in Christ is so much like a prison, is the Christian life actually a prison, or is it expressed in freedom? These characteristics of the prison all refer to the subjection of an individual to an authority. When the authority of a prison is impressed upon an individual they lose most of their freedom to interact with society, and to exercise the various pursuits that are engaged in the relationships encountered there. The prisoner loses his/her career, possessions, and interaction with people.

Life in Christ maintains all of the important things that are lost in the worldly prison and by subjecting them to God’s authority, their value is greatly enhanced. Our career can take on new meaning, our relationships are bathed in God’s love. Our pursuits can all be selected to glorify God and to take part in the testimony of His Kingdom on earth.

Is life in the world, apart from Christ, a prison, or is it freedom?

People who have not experienced the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ often think that Christians are, in a sense, imprisoned because they no longer take part in many of the activities that they feel are “legal.” However, when one is lost in sin, many are enslaved to it. We see addictions of every kind as the most obvious enslavement of the lost. However, because of their lost state, those who are outside of the faith are enslaved to sin and its eternal consequences.

As Christians, we have been freed from many of the enslavements of this worldly prison including hatred, enmity with God, and condemnation for sin. As Christians, we have been freed for the purposes of expressing love and ministry to this lost world.

“…Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve…’ (Joshua 24: 13-22).


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