Friday, April 6, 2012

Ephesians 6:19-24

and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Final Greetings
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

As Paul closes his letter, we are reminded that he is a prisoner as a result of his obedience to God. Yet Paul does not ask for prayers for his freedom, rather that he will continue to be bold to speak the gospel even while in chains. I am often guilty of asking God to deliver me from my circumstances rather than pleasing that He would use me for his glory in my trials.

Paul sent Tychicus to give specific updates to the churches about Paul, sharing information about Paul’s wellbeing and ministry as well as encouraging the saints. Tychicus was from the Province of Asia, perhaps even from Ephesus itself! Tradition holds that he was one of the 70 disciples of Jesus and eventually became bishop of Colophon. Knowledge of Paul’s missionary work would strengthen the church of Ephesus in the same way that modern churches are encouraged by missionaries’ stories today. Paul closes with a benediction that his readers would have peace, love, and grace – a climate of the Spirit of God that would be present if the churches followed the precepts in this letter inspired by God.

It is crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him. This is the way Paul thought in Phil. 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

The key thing to see in this verse is that all Paul’s efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in Christ are secured by Christ’s grasp of him. Never forget that your security rests on Christ’s faithfulness first. Christ is faithful first!

It is HIS mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). - John Piper

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