As we said earlier, Paul is writing the Book of Ephesians while a prisoner in Rome in the time of Nero.  This is his second imprisonment; the first being the one recorded in Acts 28.  It seems that Paul was freed from that one as there are accounts in the Epistles that cannot be fit into the narrative of the Book of Acts. This imprisonment is one he will not survive. Because he was a Roman citizen, he would not face crucifixion, rather he would be beheaded.

         While awaiting martyrdom Paul asked the Ephesians Christians to pray for his ministry in Rome that he would be faithful to the Lord Jesus. He was an ambassador in chains. He is praying that he might share the Gospel with boldness.

         In 2nd Timothy 4, we have what some have called “the last will and testament of the Apostle Paul” He refers to this in 2nd Tim. 4:6-8, For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

         The view that Paul had in that Roman prison must be ours. He was living in anticipation of the return of Jesus. One who does that is promised “the Crown of Righteousness.” While were awaiting the Lord’s return we live as. ambassadors for Jesus. We sing a song that says, “I came on business for the. King.”

         The words of Paul in 2 Tim. 4:16-17 are a fitting end to this part of the 6th chapter of Ephesians. Paul writes, 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles might hear it. So, I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.


Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.