By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
God was not taken by surprise when the Messiah was rejected by the Jews. He did not have to scramble in order to put a plan in place to deal with it. It was His eternal purpose to bring about the mystery of uniting both Jew and Gentile together as one body in Christ Jesus. It was a shock to the Jews and Gentiles who had been at odds for centuries. It was even a surprise to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. But God had this splendid plan in place before time began. It is the mystery of the church as it unites all believers of whatever stripe into one body that causes the angelic beings to see God’s variegated or multicolored wisdom.
This unity occurred in the only way possible; that is through the death of Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the most remarkable plan ever conceived as the One who is Lord, (the One who is God) became man and died in our place on the cross. When we believe in Him, we are part of His body whether we like it or not. Salvation has always been through faith (For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”(Rom. 4:3)). Yet the body becomes united as one when Jesus Christ our Lord became sin for us. (He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Cor. 5:21))
The following are my thoughts brought to mind after reading this verse. So, we are placed together in one body to bring God’s message to the world. This is God’s plan and it works amazingly well given that He has chosen sinful humanity as an essential element in that plan. In the Old Testament, God chose a people to be united in Him and be a light to the world that would draw the world to Him. Although there were always individuals who loved Him and lived for Him, yet the nation as a whole succumbed to the sins of the surrounding nations rather than be a light to them. Today, we are as believers, part of that magnificent dwelling place that is in the process of being built for God. As I look at that building, I see building blocks trying to jump out from where God has placed them. To me, this may be the most amazing part of God’s plan as He has chosen imperfect humanity as His message to the world. And God’s plan will succeed because He is God and He knows exactly what He is doing in every way and every time. (“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)). Therefore, we must praise God for the way in which He has uniquely gifted each of us to be part of that ever expanding building. We must live in obedience to Him as we seek to fulfill our responsibility of being His message to the world.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
The purpose of Paul’s ministry to present the mystery (the manifold wisdom of God) is described here. This is truly an interesting verse (it is also a difficult verse to understand) as it says that the purpose or result of this display is that the manifold wisdom of God is made known to those who are the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This display is meant for the place and the rulers where spiritual warfare takes place (For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12 )). It is the unity of the church in bringing Jews and Gentiles together as believers in one body, that speaks of the manifold wisdom of God to the angelic beings, both good and evil, that inhabit the heavenly places. It was something that even they did not understand until God revealed it.
We probably do not understand the sharp division that existed between the Jews and the Gentiles in the Old Testament. Gentiles could previously come to God through becoming Jewish proselytes but now to the shock and awe of all in both the heavenly places and on earth all believers were united together in the church functioning together and fitted perfectly together in one body. The unity of the universal church screams this out to whomever would listen including the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
OK, so how does this affect us in the local church? The following includes my own thoughts on the application of this verse and are in no way inspired. Let’s start with the manifold wisdom of God. The Greek word translated manifold is used only here in the New Testament. Hoehner describes the meaning in classical Greek as referring “to the beauty of an embroidered pattern or the variety of colors in flowers”. It may be thought of as multicolored. God’s creation is multicolored. Even the people are multicolored. So once the evil ones in heavenly places came to the realization of this new fact, they would do everything they could in order to divide the church. They would divide it by race, by geography, by social status; indeed, in every way they can. They would attack the world culture as well as the culture of the church. We who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, are united together in one body to declare God’s wisdom to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places as well as to those who live in this world with us. In stark contrast, Satan and his minions seek disorder and chaos. As such, the only true unity must be God’s way through His church. Satan desires to spread disunity there as well.
From before the universe was created, it was always God’s plan to bring all together in one body of Christ. Certainly, the Old Testament foresaw the suffering Savior and the ministry extending to the Gentiles but the church is a remarkable evidence of the multicolored wisdom of God as displayed to the residents of the heavenlies that even they did not see coming. Our unity today displays this remarkable wisdom of God. The unity is not based on our view of God’s truth but rather on God’s truth as revealed in His word by the Holy Spirit.
Each of us as believers has been gifted and placed in a particular place in the body of Christ to display the multicolored wisdom of God to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places, and I suspect as well to those living on this earth. Satan desires to destroy this display of God’s wisdom. We as members of one body remain God’s messenger to all.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:8b-9 this grace was given to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
Paul now explains the activity and content of his ministry. It concerns the unfathomable riches of Christ. So, let’s begin there with a look at two words. The first is riches. It might also be translated as wealth and refers to all that Christ possesses. There has never been an auditor, even one with an MBA from Harvard that could put a value on these resources. This thought leads directly into a view of the word translated unfathomable but first I conclude my comments on the word riches as it is associated with Christ. It could mean all the wealth that Christ possesses or the fact that Christ shares with us from His riches that we will never be able to comprehend. I suspect that it means both as there is no end to the riches that Christ provides for us through His unending riches. He even paid the ultimate price in order for us to participate in those riches.
So, what about the word translated unfathomable? The word is used only twice in the New Testament. It is used here to refer to the riches of Christ but Paul also uses it in Romans to refer to the very essence of who God is as he writes, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Rom. 11:33). It means, “not to be traced out, indetectable, uninvestigable, unsearchable, inscrutable, incomprehensible, fathomless. All that exists about God is not discoverable by human beings. Neither are human beings capable of challenging the truth of His declarations. God’s fingerprints abound in His creation and His very DNA is present in us as we are made in His image. Yet God and His truth are only discoverable through His revelation. He has unmistakably revealed Himself through His creation which includes us. It is a revelation that screams out who He is. It is a revelation that exists in both the Living Word and the written word. Mankind tries to investigate His existence as they twist the revelation of Himself that He has given. God is unfathomable and the only way Paul can preach the message is because God revealed it to Him.
God chose Paul for a specific purpose. It was to reveal a mystery. It was first to preach to the Gentiles about the riches available to them, indeed to us. It was to make known the things that God had planned before the creation of the universe. It is now that God has determined to make that clear and gave Paul the responsibility to preach that message that God is freely making available to all His grace through faith. He was to bring to them the light that God desired to reveal to all without exception. It had been initially revealed to Paul when a tremendous light shone on the road to Damascus. Now he was to make that light shine out into the lives of all that they might understand what God had planned before the world began. Indeed, although we may not have received that call in as spectacular a fashion as did Paul, we also have been called to take that message of light to the world.
One last thing for today as Paul says this message comes from the creator of the universe. How foolish it is for that which is created to investigate their Creator. It is not as if we are investigating equals but rather questioning the One who caused everything to come into existence out of nothing. He is the Creator who reveals Himself to us. Paul writes in Romans On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? (Rom. 9:20).
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
In the midst of his statement concerning the mission God has given him as minister to the Gentiles, Paul interrupts himself with a quick, terse statement that expresses deep emotion about God’s choice of him for that role (To me, the very least of all saints). This is not a case of false humility but rather an instance of deep realization concerning God’s choice of him for this role. The first two words (for me) serve as emphasis as Paul expresses the awareness that God had done a remarkable thing for him. The remaining portion of the statement might better be translated as who is less than the least of all the saints. Paul considered himself to be the greatest of all sinners (It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. (1Tim. 1:15)). Paul had blasphemed and persecuted Christ (even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. (1Tim. 1:13)). Paul had persecuted and tried to destroy the church (how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;(Gal. 1:13)). Paul sincerely expresses his feelings concerning his lack of worthiness for the role God gave him. He was not just the least of the apostles, he was less than the least of every believer who existed. Yet, God prepared him and called him for unique ministry.
Paul was extremely zealous in everything he did. When he persecuted, he did it with ferocity. When he preached the gospel, he did it with aggressive purpose. Most of us would hesitate to compare ourselves with Paul, yet we may experience the same realization that he did, the realization of our own unworthiness. As believers, God has gifted us for service that is perhaps beyond what we might expect. He has given us unique gifts designed especially for us. We are not Paul, but God’s call of each of us is special. We are no more deserving of it than was Paul, yet God through His magnificent grace has placed us in the body of Christ designed for service. We fit perfectly into the place in the body that he designed us to fill. Each of us is called specifically into serving God in perfect harmony with the gifts he has given us and with the other gifted saints. We may not be Paul but we are uniquely equipped by God for service.
I was going to look at the second half of this verse as well this morning but there is more there than I am ready to expose in the brief space available. Besides, I think it is well to meditate upon the stunning, undeserved grace that God has bestowed on each of us uniquely and specifically as we serve Him. God did not only call us for service, he gave each of us all that we need to serve Him. Wow! We are prepared for serving the Creator of the universe through the endowment of His unspeakable grace. Is it deserved? Of course not. That is why it is a gift.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
Paul was placed by God into the ministry of making known to the Gentiles the mystery that united them together with the Jews in the body of Christ. The words of which point back to the mystery that has just been defined in verse six. The word minister is the same word translated deacon elsewhere in the New Testament. It’s synonym, often translated bond servant carries the idea of subjection while the word minister or deacon emphasizes service. As we look at this verse, we will consider the application to our lives. I am no Paul and never will be, yet each of us has been called to serve others in the cause of Christ. We might realize that each of our ministries has to do with the same thing as did Paul’s. We are all called to being a part of letting the world know about the opportunity to become one with us in Christ. We are not all given the gift of evangelism but the gift of each of us speaks to the world. This means using the ministry that God has uniquely given to each one of us. We must not be jealous of the ministry of another but rather revel in doing the service to which God has individually called each of us.
Paul says that the service entrusted to him was a result of the gift provided by the grace of God in his life. We usually think of the gift of God’s grace as being the reception of eternal life and well it is as we accept the gift of God’s grace through faith (for by grace are you saved through faith). But the gift of God’s grace does not stop there. Paul is overwhelmed with the gift of God’s grace in his life. The word he uses for gift always refers to that which God graciously gives. (Although related it is not the same word used in 2:8.) Paul recognizes that this gift is part of God’s awe-inspiring grace in his life. Neither, does God’s grace end with the reception of eternal life through faith in our lives. God calls us to be part of His team and enables us to be part of His mission to the world. We likewise, are overwhelmed with that personal gift of grace that God gives to us. His grace never ceases working in our lives.
Then Paul speaks of the enablement for the service to which he was called as he writes according to the working of His power. It might also be translated according to the energizing of His power. Paul uses two words in this phrase that relate to power. For those of you who remember your science, it might be thought of as potential and kinetic energy. The word translated power speaks of God’s infinity capacity to accomplish whatever He chooses. There is no limit on His power other than His own holy character. The word translated working speaks of the activity of that power. Paul writes of God’s infinite power, powering out in his life the activity associated with the gracious gift God had given him. God’s grace never ceases its activity in our lives. God’s infinite power is also associated with the gracious gift(s) that God has given us. In His never-ceasing grace he empowers us to be part of His message to the world.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
Paul specifically defines the mystery in this verse. I begin this morning with a quote that affirms the content of the mystery and then I will look into some of the details. Hoehner writes, “The mystery is not that Gentiles would be saved, for the Old Testament gave evidence of that, but rather that believing Jews and Gentiles are joined together. This was a revolutionary concept for Jews and Gentiles alike!” This is possibly a revolutionary concept for believers today to realize that all believers are partakers together of one body.
Paul uses three compound nouns that are each a combination of the Greek preposition sun (meaning with and translated fellow in this verse) and a noun. This serves to heighten the union and the unity of all members of the body into one entity. The first word translated fellow heirs signifies that as believers of all stripes we stand together united with one another. The second word translated fellow members of the body emphasizes the fact that as believers of all stripes we are dependent upon one another. Each member of the body has an independent function that works in conjunction with every other member of the body and must be performed in conjunction with every member of the body. The third word translated fellow partakers of the promise fulfils the words which God spoke to Abraham when he said And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)”. In the Old Testament Gentiles had to become members of the Jewish community in order to be recipients of the promises. In this age there is no distinction among the members of the body. This does not abrogate the literal promises of the Old Covenant to the Jews which is demonstrated in the existence of the nation of Israel today. It rather today unites us all as one entity in Christ. God is fantastic in His ability to multitask. He still remembers His literal promises to the nation Israel as he ensures its continued existence. Yet this remains somewhat in the background today as the New Testament emphasizes the unity which all believers have in Christ Jesus through the gospel. These entities will ultimately be united together in eternity.
So, what is the practical result of this mystery? Paul has been building to this point as he has said (1) we are all created into one new humanity (2:15); we are fellow citizens and members of God’s household (2:19); we are being fitted together (2:21); we are being built together into a dwelling place of God (2:22). This is unbelievably exciting. God has made us as individuals his dwelling place through the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God is in the process of building those individual temples into a unified dwelling place for Him. He never denigrates the individual relationship that we have with Him as we are united in one body. We worship Him as individuals as we love Him (Matt. 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.). We worship Him together as we love one another (Matt. 22:39-40 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.). God has chosen us as the united body of Christ to be His message to the world as we love Him and love each other. Paul will soon write, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Eph. 4:16).
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:4-5 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
These two verses serve to emphasize the extreme importance of the mystery which Paul will define in the following verse. For us, they serve to accentuate the tremendous blessing and exhibition of God’s grace that those of us living in this age are receiving. It involves an insight into God’s grace and our role as the place of God’s presence that was never previously available. (I must briefly digress as I ask the question “If this be true, why then, as we near the end of this present age of the outpouring of grace, do we seem to be coming to the same place as in every previous age? It highlights the sinfulness and arrogance of people. No matter what God does to reach out to people, many still turn to the lies of Satan rather than to the unfathomable grace of God. Even in the coming millennium, Satan will still be able to turn thousands away from God. Digression ends here.)
We return the point of these verses. (1) They point back to the previous verses where Paul states that in spite of his extreme depth of knowledge concerning the Old Testament Law (and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions (Gal. 1:14)), it was still necessary for this mystery to be revealed to him by God Himself. (2) Paul states unequivocally that this mystery had not been previously revealed. It is true that the Old Testament knows something about God spreading His message to the Gentiles. It is shown in His promise to Abraham, And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)”. Isaiah proclaims it, And all the nations will stream to it. (Isa. 2:2). Yet, the revelation of its true impact is reserved for the current age. (3) as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in(by) the Spirit. Just as Paul did not receive it from men but rather received it as direct revelation from God, so His holy apostles and prophets received it directly through the Holy Spirit. They did not hear it from Paul just as he did not hear it from them. In context, the word prophets must refer to New Testament prophets since it was not revealed in the Old Testament. This mystery of the church is something that was always in the plan of God but was only revealed to holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit in New Testament times. Those of us living in this age, including you and me, are uniquely recipients of this mystery of God’s grace.
These two verses serve as a transition from the source of the mystery (God Himself) to the content of the mystery as Paul strategically and beautifully builds to the conclusion in verse thirteen that we might not lose heart. God not only wants to give us eternal life as we accept His gift of grace through faith. He also wants us to experience that grace right now. Just as Paul knew that the Ephesians would be discouraged by his imprisonment and perhaps fears for their own safety, God knows that we can easily become discouraged by the events that encircle us. This message, written nearly two millennia ago, is a message the shouts out to us today. God does want us to be discouraged as we view the events that seem to imprison us. God has showered upon us His grace that we have received through faith. God continues to pour out His grace upon us.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Paul continues to expand on the mystery on which he touched earlier in brief when he wrote, Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands — remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:11-12). He now expands on this fantastic mystery which had been revealed to Him. The word mystery refers to something that was not clearly known in the Old Testament but is made clear in the New Testament. Hoehner describes it as “a truth hitherto unknown”. In the previous verse Paul has described this mystery as the stewardship of God’s grace.
In the middle of Paul’s digression, I get ahead of myself slightly. The magnificent grace of God had been shown often in the Old Testament. God’s grace was present when He led Adam out of the garden; when He saved Noah from the flood; when He gave promises to Abraham; when He led His people into and out of Egypt; when He gave the Law at Sinai; when He led His people into the Promised Land; when He suffered with their rebellion; when He brought them back from exile and on and on. A hint of His grace regarding the Gentiles was at play as well in the lives of folks like Rahab and Ruth and the sending of the prophet Jonah to Nineveh. Jonah even fled so he would not have a part in displaying God’s grace to Nineveh, yet he knew God’s grace was there. Ah yes, God’s grace is on display in the Old Testament continually and without question. Yet it exploded onto the scene in the New Testament in a way never before seen. In the face of stunning grace folks still reject Him as the world descends into chaos. As I said I got ahead of myself and maybe Paul too. Paul will explain the content of the mystery in verse six.
In the current verse Paul explains that this mystery was revealed by God to him. In Galatians Paul has a lot more to say about the revealing of the Gospel of Christ to Him as he writes For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). This magnificent mystery of the stewardship of God’s grace could only be revealed by God. There is no other way. We stand as its recipients. Peter writes The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2Pet. 3:9). God’s message of grace is available to all as Paul will state in verse six. God desires that all come to repentance. We are His message to the world.
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;
Before Paul continues with the prayer he began in the previous verse, he interrupts himself with a long conditional sentence. The protasis of the sentence begins here (If, indeed, you have heard of the dispensation of God’s grace) with the resulting apodosis occurring in verse thirteen (I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf). In between he reminds them of the truths of the Gospel that he has shared with them previously during his ministry with them. This one long sentence might be paraphrased as “I know that you remember what I have told in the past about the mystery relating to God’s grace but I remind you of it anyway. These great truths should cause you to not become discouraged about the fact I am in prison.” I might add that these truths should also cause them to not become discouraged at their own trials. Likewise, because of this stewardship of God’s grace we must not become discouraged in the face of trials in our lives and the lives of those we love.
The words if indeed you have heard (translated surely you have heard about in the NIV) are placed here for emphasis as Paul reminds the Ephesians of the truths he has taught them that are to make a significant difference in the way they face trials and tribulation in their own lives and in the lives of others. The mystery that he will discuss in the following verses is the stewardship (administration NIV) of God’s grace. It is grace that unites all believers into one holy temple in which God dwells. God has given Paul the responsibility of getting his message of grace out to the Gentiles. Grace will be made known to the Gentiles in a way that they never before knew; indeed, in a way that the Jews had never before known. The grace of God is replete in the Old Testament. I do not have time to even begin to consider the riches of God’s grace in the Old Testament. Yet, we have been privileged to see the grace of God in a way that it was not previously seen. It is this grace provided through the death of the Son that has made us the dwelling place of God as we receive Him through faith. It is this message of grace (which was given to me for you) that is available to all no matter their origin or background. It is this message of grace received through faith that matters. It could be said that it is all that matters. There is no part of our lives that it does not touch. We have heard of this grace. Let it make every difference in our lives as the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
It is because of the magnificent grace of God that is right now being displayed in us and to us that must never become discouraged as all the resources of Satan sometimes seem to be focused directly on us and the ones we love. God's grace remains His grace in the midst of chaos. “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED (Matt. 4:16).” In the midst of our darkest hour as well as every other hour, the light of the grace of God shines out in our lives. Hallelujah!!
By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles
Paul now turns to pray for those who have been united together in one body, both Jews and Gentiles into one holy temple in Christ. It was Jesus who truly made this union possible. Paul begins his prayer for this union with the word for this reason. Paul then digresses as for twelve verses he discusses the mystery of Christ and his responsibility to make it known. (A mystery in the New Testament is something that had not been previously revealed and although the Old Testament is replete with references to Christ, the specific fulfillment of them is only revealed in the New Testament.) Paul will pick up on this prayer in verse fourteen with the words for this reason. These words are especially significant in both places. This union is magnificent and because of cultural distinctions between Jew and Gentile, it was especially difficult to put in place. Yet, through the death of Jesus, we all have the opportunity of being built into the dwelling place of God. We merely have to accept God’s gift through faith. This union (for this reason) was worthy of prayer then and remains worthy of prayer now as we are God’s message to the world.
Before entering into his lengthy digression about the mystery of Christ, Paul starts with a minor digression as he personalizes it a little with the words, prisoner of Christ Jesus. These words are applicable in two ways. (1) Paul was actually a physical prisoner of Rome when he penned these words. Paul uses the word prisoner to describe himself five times in his epistles and each time it occurs in books written when he was an actual prisoner (Eph. 3:1; 4:1; Phil. 1,9; 2Tim. 1:8). Here he adds the words for the sake of you Gentiles as he expresses his willingness to spend time in prison for the sake of this unifying Gospel message. Indeed, in verse thirteen he will write, Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (2) Paul describes himself as the prisoner of Christ Jesus. Because he had voluntarily made himself Christ’s prisoner, he had been made a prisoner of the human government but Rome really had no power over him apart from what Christ allowed. He was first and foremost a prisoner of Christ because of his choice and as a result of that choice he had become a prisoner of Rome.
The applications of this verse are obvious. Paul uses the words prisoner of Christ to emphasize the fact that as he sat in a Roman prison it was Christ who was still in control. As we live through the events in this world that sometimes make us think that Satan has us imprisoned, we must remember that it is the One to whom we have committed our lives who remains in control. Through it all, as was Paul, we are prisoners of Christ.