Ambassador In Bonds

“The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen” (Colossians 4:18).

Paul wrote six epistles from Rome, where he was imprisoned during the final years of his life. This short but pointed admonition is similar to that of the writer of Hebrews (perhaps Paul himself) when he wrote: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them” (Hebrews 13:3).

It came as no surprise to Paul that he was placed under arrest. He told the Ephesian elders, “I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there. Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me there” (Acts 20:22,23), and this certainly came to pass. Paul was not only imprisoned, he was at times beaten, scourged, and kept in most inhumane conditions.

But when we remember Paul’s bonds, we should remember him standing in chains at the palace in Jerusalem, giving his own personal testimony (Acts 22), as he did also before King Agrippa in Caesarea (Acts 26). When we think of his imprisonment, we should remember his attitude was “that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places” (Philippians 1:12,13). Paul asked for prayer, “that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds” (Ephesians 6:19,20).

A modern equivalent of this is the imprisonment of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and others who have been imprisoned for their faith. We are to remember them in prayer before the Lord and rejoice that, as he stated in a recent article, “Christianity is not vanquished.” He echoes the words of Paul, who wrote: I suffer “as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the Word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). CJH

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