Saturday, October 29, 2011
“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:22 KJV).
Today’s Scripture is excerpted from Philippians, one of the half-dozen epistles Paul wrote from his Roman prison. “Caesar” refers to the tyrannical Roman emperor who ruled from A.D. 54 to 68 and greatly persecuted Christians. In fact, prior to committing suicide, he is thought to have executed Apostles Peter and Paul.
When Paul wrote to the Philippian church, he concluded his epistle with today’s Scripture: there are saints within Nero’s household!
About five or six years after the Philippian letter, Paul writes his final epistle, his second letter to Timothy. Notice 2 Timothy 2:8,9: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.” Paul is still in prison, treated as a criminal. Why? Satan and his evil men hate him because he is God’s apostle of the Gentiles (Acts 9:15,16; Romans 11:13; et al.).
Paul was imprisoned because he was preaching the Gospel of Grace, the same Gospel we preach today. Physically, Paul was shackled to Roman soldiers. Satan had prevented God’s chief apostle in our dispensation from traveling and preaching the wonderful salvation in Christ Jesus. However, God would not be stopped. Paul wrote “but the word of God is not bound.” No matter how hard the devil tried to keep God’s Word from reaching lost souls, God’s Word could not be confined.
In Philippians 1:12,13 Paul wrote from prison: “But I would [wish] ye understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;”
Paul preached his heart out in that Roman prison. Today’s Scripture confirms that God’s Word worked so mightily that some of Nero’s own household had trusted in Christ! Certainly, Paul was imprisoned, yet the Gospel of Grace was still published and prosperous… in the very prison where Paul was held!