I Paul, Prisoner of Jesus Christ
By Tammy Lacock
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.” (Eph. 3:1-2, KJV)
The Gospel of Paul is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, given to him directly from Christ Himself. This new Gospel of Grace was given to Paul and only to Paul. It wasn’t given to any other mortal man.
When Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians in chapter 3 verse 1, he signs on with “I Paul,” his own signature emphasizing that what he’s about to tell us is from him, nobody else, not from Moses or any of his Old or New Testament predecessors, not from any prophet or any great man. It is from him alone, reflecting his authority. Paul goes on to remind us that he is “the prisoner of Jesus Christ”; for indeed, at the time, he was being held captive in a Roman jail, where he was sentenced to death (and where he spent most of his time writing his letters). In verse 1, he also tells us that being a prisoner of Jesus Christ reflects of this new gospel given him directly from Christ Himself.
So, what is the Gospel of Paul, this Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Paul goes on to say that the gospel he was given by Christ Himself is the ushering in of a new era, the dispensation of the grace of God. In this Dispensation of Grace, God is pouring out His grace upon us, all of us. By just believing in Christ Jesus as our Savior, we are saved, and we are born-again into a new life IN CHRIST. We, too, become sons and daughters of God. Paul tells of this revelation knowledge throughout all his epistles. In over 146 verses in the New Testament, Paul (and John after) speak of Christ in the believer, no longer are we separated. Christ is our righteousness, and we are blameless before God.
It is very important to note that, although Paul loved Israel and wanted to see his people be saved, his new gospel of Christ in us was meant for the Gentiles. However, throughout his writings, he reiterates that Israel, too, can be saved by just believing.
Indeed, ALL can be reconciled to God IN CHRIST!