By Theodore Epp
Ephesians 4:1,2; Acts 16:25-31
It is interesting to note the difference between the ways Paul referred to himself in the first half of Ephesians and the last half. In beginning the first half, or doctrinal portion, Paul referred to himself as "an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1:1). Paul emphasized his apostleship because he had a special message to give believers, and that message was given in the first three chapters. In the last half of Ephesians, which emphasizes the practice of Christians, Paul referred to himself as "the prisoner of the Lord" (4:1). This last section of Ephesians is an intense appeal by Paul for believers to walk worthy of their calling, and Paul underscored his appeal by calling himself a prisoner of the Lord.
How interesting that Paul should have this viewpoint. He was a prisoner of Rome and was in a damp dungeon because of preaching the Gospel, but he really considered himself to be a prisoner of the Lord. Paul recognized that the Lord could use him where he was, and this is precisely what the Lord did. During this imprisonment, Paul wrote letters to Philemon, the Colossians, the Ephesians and the Philippians. These letters are now contained in the Scriptures and have had great impact on the world down through the ages.
It is good to ask ourselves, Whose prisoner am I? Do I consider myself a prisoner of circumstances or of the Lord Jesus Christ?
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom. 6:16).