1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles
Paul now transitioned to a new subject. Having discussed the idea that the Gentile believer was now a “new man” (applying as well to the Jewish believer), he turned to how God revealed the idea of the church uniquely to him.
For this reason
This phrase harks back to 2:11-22 dealing with the idea of both Jews and Gentiles being placed in the church, a new entity. This took place because of their union with Christ positionally.
The word for “I, Paul” is emphatic. God gave to Paul, more than any other apostle, understanding of the church, the brand new entity beginning on the day of Pentecost.
the prisoner of Christ Jesus
Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote Ephesians. He was there because of an attack on him in Jerusalem by the Jews. The Jews charged him with taking the Ephesian Gentile Trophimus into forbidden areas of the Temple in Jerusalem (Acts 21:28). He was then put in jail, first in Caesarea Palestine for two years and then ultimately in Rome for three years.
In Paul’s mind, he was a prisoner of Christ Jesus, not Rome. The sovereign hand of Christ Jesus was with him everywhere he went. The word “of” indicates that he belonged to Christ Jesus. His viewpoint on life was very different from that of others in trouble. His perspective was that nothing could touch him without the permission of the Lord.
Never once did Paul ever say that he was a prisoner of Caesar. He always viewed himself as a “prisoner of Jesus Christ.”
for you Gentiles—
Paul’s primary ministry was to the Gentiles (2 Ti 1:11-12). Peter’s ministry was to the Jews.
The Greek word “for” means on behalf of. Paul’s chains in Rome were profitable for Gentiles. It was for their sake that God formed the church, which included Jews (Co 1:24-26).
Trust in God’s sovereignty allows us to accept any situation that comes our way.
Most of us look at our circumstances rather than what the Lord is doing with our lives. We should not look at our circumstance but at our Lord. If we totally trust God’s viewpoint on our situation, we will look at life very differently (Ro 8:28). We can calculate it all joy when we enter into trial (Jas 1:2; 1 Pe 4:12-13). This is living by faith rather than sight.
Do we deem that our circumstances were put there by the Lord? Are we in the Lord’s control or not? We should consider our circumstances to be of the Lord and the will of God.
God gives Christians a different way of looking at things. We can look at things from God’s viewpoint. Evangelical Christians today worry about the cultural direction of their country. However, we should look at today’s cultural problems in the light of Jesus being in control of all history.