Paul writes the next few verses on a personal note explaining to them his current circumstances and his attitude toward hardship. Remember that Paul was writing from a Roman jail where he was imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. His message opposed Jewish legalism and Greek paganism ultimately upholding Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. Because preaching the gospel was Paul’s passion, he viewed his persecution as God’s will; in fact, Paul says “I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” The persecution, which brought Jesus to His death, was now being carried out on those who spread the same message…mainly that Jesus is the only way to God. The church had been entrusted to deliver the message of salvation to all people and Paul considered himself a “minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.” God has given all followers the command to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised that believers would “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The task of spreading the gospel had become even larger when God revealed a “mystery which has [had] been hidden from ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.” A mystery
meant that something had been previously hidden and was now being made known. The particular mystery Paul was referring to was that Jews and Gentiles alike would receive salvation through Jesus Christ and be indwelt by His Spirit (1:27). The Old Testament indicated that Gentiles would receive salvation through the coming Messiah, but it did not say that the Spirit of Christ would actually dwell inside the church. What an amazing promise! Since the Spirit of Christ indwells us, He provides us with the power to spread the message of salvation to everyone. Paul says it like this: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” The task is simple – preach Christ, warn of sin, teach the truth, and present men mature before Christ. May this be our desire!
Dear God, thank You for entrusting Your message of salvation to me. Help me to be a good steward of truth and may many give their lives over to You!