For this cause - Because he maintained that the Gentiles were admitted to all the privileges of the Jews, and all the blessings of the new covenant, without being obliged to submit to circumcision, the Jews persecuted him, and caused him to be imprisoned, first at Caesarea, where he was obliged to appeal to the Roman emperor, in consequence of which he was sent prisoner to Rome. See Acts 21:21-28, etc.
The prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles - For preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, and showing that they were not bound by the law of Moses, and yet were called to be fellow citizens with the saints; for this very cause the Jews persecuted him unto bonds, and conspired his death.
For this cause - On account of preaching this doctrine; that is, the doctrine that the gospel was to be proclaimed to the Gentiles.
I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ - A prisoner in the service of the Lord Jesus; or made a prisoner in his cause. Not a prisoner for crime or debt, or as a captive in war, but a captive in the service of the Redeemer. This proves that at the time of writing this, Paul was in bonds, and there can he no question that he was in Rome. This would be more correctly rendered, “For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner,” etc. So Tyndale renders it, “For this cause I, Paul, the servant of Jesus, am in bonds.” So also Locke, Rosenmuller, Doddridge, Whitby, Koppe, and others understand it. By this construction the abruptness now manifest in our common version is avoided.
For you Gentiles - Made a prisoner at Rome on your behalf, because I maintained that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles; see Acts 22:21-23. He was taken first to Cesarea, and then to Rome. The cause of his imprisonment and of all his difficulties was, that he maintained that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles; that when the Jews rejected it God rejected them; and that he was specially called to carry the message of salvation to the pagan world.
“God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” 5T 730.1
Such are the words in which “Paul the aged,” “a prisoner of Jesus Christ,” writing from his prison house at Rome, endeavored to set before his brethren that which he found language inadequate to express in its fullness—“the unsearchable riches of Christ,” the treasure of grace freely offered to the fallen sons of men. The plan of redemption was laid by a sacrifice, a gift. Says the apostle: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.” And as the crowning blessing of redemption, “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 5T 730.2
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” Surely there are none that, beholding the riches of His grace, can forbear to exclaim with the apostle. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” 5T 730.3Read in context »
“When he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all” (Acts 20:36). 2SM 312.1
“When we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed” (Acts 21:5). 2SM 312.2
“At the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, and said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:5, 6). 2SM 312.3
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). 2SM 312.4
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:14). And this whole chapter will, if the heart is receptive, be as precious a lesson as we can learn. 2SM 312.5
To bow down when in prayer to God is the proper attitude to occupy. This act of worship was required of the three Hebrew captives in Babylon.... But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone—the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honor to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon. Refusing to do as the king had commanded, they suffered the penalty, and were cast into the burning fiery furnace. But Christ came in person and walked with them through the fire, and they received no harm. 2SM 312.6
Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God. 2SM 312.7
At the dedication of the Temple, Solomon stood facing the altar. In the court of the Temple was a brazen scaffold or platform, and after ascending this, he stood and lifted up his hands to heaven, and blessed the immense congregation of Israel, and all the congregation of Israel stood.... 2SM 312.8Read in context »
Jesus says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He walked once a man on earth, His divinity clothed with humanity, a suffering, tempted man, beset with Satan's devices. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and He knows how to succor those that are tempted. Now He is at the right hand of God, He is in heaven as our advocate, to make intercession for us. We must always take comfort and hope as we think of this. He is thinking of those who are subject to temptations in this world. He thinks of us individually, and knows our every necessity. When tempted, just say, He cares for me, He makes intercession for me, He loves me, He has died for me. I will give myself unreservedly to Him. We grieve the heart of Christ when we go mourning over ourselves as though we were our own savior. No; we must commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. He ever lives to make intercession for the tried, tempted ones. Open your heart to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and let not one breath of doubt, one word of unbelief, escape your lips, lest you sow the seeds of doubt. There are rich blessings for us; let us grasp them by faith. I entreat you to have courage in the Lord. Divine strength is ours; and let us talk courage and strength and faith. Read the third chapter of Ephesians. Practice the instruction given. Bear a living testimony for God under all circumstances. TM 391.1Read in context »