Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon: These letters are known, collectively, as the prison letters. They were written by Paul during his time of imprisonment in Rome.
In Philippians, we see God’s kingdom as a kingdom as a kingdom of joy: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and, again, I say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). When the Lord reigns as king in our lives, he gives us his joy. this joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances. It comes to us from the Lord.
In Philemon, we see the kingdom of God as the kingdom of fellowship: “that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave, but as a beloved brother” (15-16).
In Colossians 1:13-14, we have a marvellous statement of what God has done for us in Christ: “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Through Christ’s redemption, we are now in the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Now that we are part of God’s kingdom, we are to live as men and women whose lives bear the marks of Christ’s reign, men and women who are committed servants of God and his kingdom. This is emphasized by Paul in the six chapters of the letter to the Ephesians.
In chapters 1-3, Paul speaks of the salvation God has given to us in Jesus Christ.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7-8).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not because of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We, the Gentiles, have come to know and enjoy “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).
In chapters 4-6, we have the call to live a godly life (Ephesians 4:1), to “be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), to “put on the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11).
As those who have been saved, there is a way of life we are to shun and a way of life we are to choose.
* There is a life of darkness to be shunned and a life of light to be chosen (Ephesians 5:3-14).
* There is a life of foolishness to be shunned and a life of wisdom to be chosen (Ephesians 5:15-17).
* There is a life of drunkenness to be shunned and a life of the Spirit to be chosen (Ephesians 5:18-20).
May God help us to make the right choice – Christ.