And for me, that utterance may be given unto me - Ἱνα μοι δοθειη λογος . Kypke has proved by many examples that λογον διδοναι signifies permission and power to defend one's self in a court of justice; and this sense of the phrase is perfectly applicable to the case of St. Paul, who was an ambassador in bonds, ( Ephesians 6:20;), and expected to be called to a public hearing, in which he was not only to defend himself, but to prove the truth and excellency of the Christian religion. And we learn, from Philemon 1:12-14, that he had his desire in this respect; for the things which happened to him fell out to the furtherance of the Gospel, so that his bonds in Christ were manifest in all the palace, and in all other places. Thus God had enabled him to make a most noble defense, by which the Gospel acquired great credit.
The mystery of the Gospel - The whole doctrine of Christ, not fully revealed previously to that time.
And for me - Paul was then a prisoner at Rome. He specially needed the prayers of Christians:
(1) that he might be sustained in his afflictions; and,
(2) that he might be able to manifest the spirit which he ought, and to do good as he had opportunity. Learn hence that we should pray for the prisoner, the captive, the man in chains, the slave. There are in this land (the United States) about ten thousand prisoners - husbands, fathers, sons, brothers; or wives, mothers, daughters. True, they are the children of “crime,” but they are also the children of sorrow; and in either case or both they need our prayers. There are in this land not far from three million of slaves - and they need our prayers. They are children of misfortune and of many wrongs; they are sunk in ignorance and want and we; they are subjected to trials, and exposed to temptations to the lowest vices. But many of them, we trust, love the Redeemer; and whether they do or do not, they need an interest in the prayers of Christians.
That utterance may be given unto me - Paul, though a prisoner, was permitted to preach the gospel; see the notes, Acts 28:30-31.
That I may open my mouth boldly - He was in Rome. He was almost alone. He was surrounded by multitudes of the wicked. He was exposed to death. Yet he desired to speak boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and to invite sinners to repentance. A Christians in chains, and surrounded by the wicked, may speak boldly, and “may” have hope of success - for Paul was not an unsuccessful preacher even when a captive at Rome; see the notes on Philemon 4:22.
The mystery of the gospel - notes, Ephesians 1:9.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul sets before them the “mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19), the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8), and then assures them of his earnest prayers for their spiritual prosperity: SL 84.1
“I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ...that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19). SL 84.2Read in context »
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8. UL 200.1
Christ has laid down the conditions of acceptable service. “He that loveth his life shall lose it,” He says; “and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:25, 26). UL 200.2Read in context »