Saturday, July 20, 2013

Prisoners of Christ

1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; –Ephesians 4:1 (KJV)

What do you think of Paul the Apostle referring to himself as a prisoner?  Does this seem strange?  The problem is we always associate being a prisoner in a negative sense.  However, here Paul uses it in the positive.  Christ will not let him go.  He is bound to remain in Christ’s service for the rest of his life.  When it comes to serving the Lord, ours is a life sentence.  Following Christ is to be our life’s work.  From Paul’s perspective, being a prisoner for the Lord is a positive condition and a statement of his commitment to serving the Lord throughout his life.  Christ calls all believers to adopt this stance on committing our lives to Him.

The challenge given in God’s Word is to live lives worthy of the calling we have received.  Let us be careful not to squander the fortune of grace we have received through Christ.  I read about a young man who came from an extremely wealthy family.  The tradition was that everyone born into the family received a great sum of money on their 21st birthday.  The idea was that they could then put the money to work to add to the family fortune.  The young man received his inheritance and unfortunately squandered it (Do you see any similarities to Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15?).  The challenge given to us in God’s Word is to put the grace of God to good use.  We begin by living lives worthy of the Lord Jesus.

People have wrong ideas about the Christian life.  They mistakenly think that following Jesus involves some sort of legalistic, solitary, stone-faced, almost monastic existence where we never laugh or do anything enjoyable.  This is ridiculous and a gross misunderstanding of the Christian life.  Embracing the Lordship of Christ involves shunning the ungodly attitudes and practices of those who have rejected the Lord.  We rid ourselves of evil, hatred, envy, strife, jealousy, lust, and ungodliness (See Galatians 5:19-23) while adopting the attitudes of the Lord Jesus.  We love, forgive, witness, serve, and reach out to a lost and dying world. 

Jesus Christ transforms our minds from carnal to spiritual.  Only Christ Jesus can do this in us.  We cannot do it for ourselves.  Let us be careful to live lives worthy of the blessing we have received.  Do not fear being Christ’s prisoner, for here again is the great paradox of faith.  As Christ’s prisoners, He makes us free.  As Christ’s servants, He liberates us.  Through surrender, we have victory.  Claim the victory today and walk forward in vibrant and liberating faith.

God bless you today.