Chapter 61: Spiritual Warfare
Paul’s life shows that the Word of God cannot be locked up behind bars. His ‘prison-ministry’ of praying and letter-writing was very fruitful, and important mission lessons can be learned from these prison letters.
From Ephesians we learn that missionaries are like soldiers: they must be armed for battle. The spiritual armor Paul describes speaks about Christian character and spiritual awareness. Without either of these the battle for the nations cannot be won. Wearing the armor is an act of obedience. Only missionaries who are experienced in spiritual warfare can train others in it.
When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him … For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him (Acts 28:16,30)
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear … to everyone … that I am in chains for Christ … And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon (Phil. 1:12,13; 2:24)
After the lessons we learned from James, we now leave Jerusalem. Not long after James wrote his letter he was killed. At the same time, Paul spent a two-year period in Rome under ‘house-arrest’. He was guarded by a Roman soldier, but for the rest was free to receive people, teach them and write letters. In writing letters, his ministry would span the ages. Countless millions of believers would be taught, encouraged, rebuked, corrected, comforted and liberated by the God-inspired words he wrote. The fruit of these letters cannot be under-estimated. In this period he wrote four letters that we know of. They were sent to Ephesus, Colossae, and Philippi, as well as to his friend Philemon.