An Ambassador In Bonds

An Ambassador In Bonds

An Ambassador In Bonds

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20

A Time to Choose

  • Presence of An Evil King
  • Carrying A Misplaced Affection
  • Witnessing An Evident Confirmation
  • Now Is A Time To Choose


  • Is From Another Nation
  • Is a Messenger
  • Carries a Message of Warning
  • Carries a Message of Salvation

An Ambassador In Bonds

Bound For The Gospels Sake v20

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20

What we witness in verse 20 is the state of the first century church exampled in the apostle Paul. He wrote this epistle from prison, “an ambassador in bonds” is how he titles himself.

A man who has suffered the confiscation of freedom for the sake of telling the world of the way for everlasting life, the way in which they could remove themselves from the eternal condemnation of hell.

Paul saw this as his is most committed vocation. 

Paul saw this as the greatest of responsibility, 

Paul saw this as his highest calling in life.

Now Paul was bound in a prison cell for the privilege of bringing this message to all people, and notice if you will that this change of environment does not remove from him that callto which he has been charged to undertake, he petitions prayer for the persistence of the work;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Paul continues to preach the gospel and the way of everlasting life even while bound.

More so, he trusts that this BONDAGE furthered the work for Christ.

Turn to Philippians 1:12-18

This letter was also written from a Prison cell in ROME. Consider Paul’s view related to the circumstances in which he finds himself.

12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice

Paul does not consider prison to be a setback, on the contrary, he sees it as the Lords will and preaches with the same fervency there as he does when free.

But Paul was not the only disciple in prison.

Turn to Colossians 4:7- 11. 

This, his salutation in yet another letter written from prison in ROME.

Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are known as “The Prison Epistles” to which we might add 2 Timothy.

In his good-bye to the Colossian Church he writes;

7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: 8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. 10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) 11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

This is the first century Church. 

But this was also the second century Church.

The third century Church, forth century, fifth….

When I attended a Bible college class on Church History a number of years ago, we had to read several book on the history of the Church, then undertake our exam, a series of book reviews on each book we had read, and finally a Church History Essay.

In the marking criteria you received value percentages for each element undertaken.

I got good marks for the Book Reviews and a High Distinction for the exam, but, due to my other commitments I had not undertaken the Essay, but I thought id passed the subject anyway and just let it go.

I got 78 out of 100, so I was quite pleased regardless. Problem was the principle told me that I needed 80% to pass the class.

The good news was I did not need to redo the entire class, but I had to read two more books and still undertake that dreaded essay in Church history.

What I’m trying to confirm to you is that being bound for the sake of the Gospel is not a first century anomaly. It was the perpetual state of the Church in diverse nationsaround the world in every century up to and including this 21st century.

Recall that Paul was a persecutor of the Church. His name was Saul before he changed it to Paul, and he testifies in Acts 22:3-5 as he spoke to the people of Jerusalem giving his testimony that they may hear the word and believe.

He spoke to them in the Hebrew tongue and said;

3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

And why is this the case? Why is it that the world throughout history has not received the witness of the Church?

Jesus answered it, saying; that “men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil

Turn to John 15:18-21

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

What began in the first century will continue through to the last century. 

Beloved, be sure to have chosen that good thing we spoke of in the first message of this series, be sure to have understood your calling as Gods AMBASSADOR to a lost world, and be sure to know that your joyful work for the Gospels sake can continue even if you are privileged to become AN AMBASSADOR IN BONDS with Paul.

Intercession For Perseverance Sake. V18

Paul was bound for the Gospels sake, and he petitions the intersession of saints for Perseverance Sake.

Paul begins verse 18 from verse 10 saying; “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might….

18……Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

And then verse 19, “and for me that utterance may be given unto me….

Paul here is petitioning the Church to pray for him, to intercede on his behalf for the sake of the Gospel of Christ and that Paul might be bold in his preaching to the lost even in that condition.

Beloved, we the Church must be a church of prayer just as they were in the first century. We must every day dedicate ourselves to the work God has set forth for us to work, a work that we attend to with all diligence on our knees before a holy God, interceding on behalf of the brethren, on behalf of each other.

They were long in praying for the release of Peter from prison, and as they were praying he was knocking at the front door having had an Angel liberate him.

This is a terrible time that we are living in, a time in which many challenges have hit us like a tonne of bricks, and some are getting challenged on every side and as a result WE NEED TO PRAY for each other.

Some of you think it strange that such a fiery trial is sent to try you. You go on your knees to pray and still bad things happen.

You read your bible every day and STILL BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

You think this strange, and yet this is to be expected for ALL those who are partakers in Christ, but if this occurs we should rejoice rather than be sad for it confirms our HOPE.

Turn to 1 Peter 4:12

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

One preacher once said;

  • Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil. Most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition

Beloved we don’t go on our knees in prayer, and we don’t read our bibles every day in the hope that nothing bad happens, we do so because it ALONE sustains us, it alone keeps our focus on that which matters and to Paul, it gave him courage and boldness in the Gospel.

We read the Bible for several reasons;

  1. Because it tells us of the power, glory and faithfulness of God.
  2. Because such knowledge of the Lord brings us comfort.
  3. Because it leads and guides our steps
  4. Because it brings context to our lives and the days in which we live.

Those with a Biblical worldview are the ONLY ones that can make sense of the world we live in. 

The Bible informs our days and it corrects our minds.

We pray also for several reasons;

  1. Because God desires our prayers and longs to answer.
  2. Because we need forgiveness for sin. (Both mind and body)
  3. Because we need to see his work done in our lives.
  4. Because others need our intersession.

And that is what Paul is asking of his readers here.

Paul desires that someone might stand in the gap for him, that might petition the Lord on his behalf, that might intercede for him that he may be bold in the work of the Lord.

God looks for men and women willing to do so, willing to petition the Lord that he stem the tide of his indignation on the nations

He looks for men and women and children willing to petition the Lord that he might turn the worlds curse into God’s blessing, that he might save those who we intercede for.

Tun in your bibles to Ezekiel 22:29

Here Ezekiel writes of the anger of the Lord upon Israel, and upon the city of Jerusalem. The days he speaks of and the oppression that is exacted upon the people are not too dissimilar in our days today, and here God is looking for an intercessor, someone willing to seek the Lord on their behalf for forgiveness of sin.

The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

God longs to answer prayer, he looks for people of prayer, people willing to “stand in the gap”. God looks for people like you and I that are willing to intercede for this state and the people of this state, are there any?

Each one of us also, need each one of us to pray for each other for the work of the Lord. To turn the hearts of many unto God and that, like Paul, we may be bold in utterance.

James wrote: “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

Solomon wrote; “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” Pr 11:30

Set yourselves to pray each day, to intercede on behalf of those who cannot intercede for themselves. 

Set yourselves to pray each day, to intercede on behalf of those who attend the work of the word of God, that they might be bold in their proclamation as Ambassadors for Christ.

Boldness For Hopes Sake v19

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

We often think that the sharing of the gospel of Christ comes easily to those who are gifted in the work. We think that they rarely have any fear in doing so, it’s just as easy to share the gospel for those people as it is to talk about the weather.

Paul indicates here that that is not the case. Even he desires to be bold, desires that he might open his mouth and to make known the mystery of the gospel. Yet here we have him petitioning the prayers of the saints that he might be bold in that proclamation.

Sharing the Gospel is not always easy. 

First it needs to be our desire, first we need to see it as our work as Ambassadors for the heavenly kingdom.

Next there needs to be a love for the lost that exceeds our concerns for our temporal comforts.

Finally there needs to be that hunger for souls, that burden that simply cannot be quenched without just speaking one more of the words of God to one more person, handing out one more Gospel tract, recommending One more sermon, 

  1. The Desire

It’s one of the greatest joys to see a new Christian on fire for the Lord and sharing the gospel everywhere he/she goes even though they knows nothing other than the change that has happened in their heart. 

How this is different for so many others who remember starting with such zeal and then falling away, their love for the Lord waning, their faith failing, too long a Christian.

One passionate Old Christian once prayed, after witnessing the zeal of a young convert, saying

Lord, don’t let him catch on”.

We need that zeal to return to our hearts, we need a revival of desire for the Lost and the only time that will come is when we have a desire for the Lord.

Vance Havner once said “A Revival is the church falling in love with Jesus Christ all over again” and I think he is right. 

Where do you stand in your love for Jesus?

Does your desire to live for him supersede everything else in your life?

Paul’s desire in life was nothing other than that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly

  • The Love

It is truly of interest to me that I find myself loving people more as I love Christ more

I never loved people much, never cared for them much, but the more I fell in love with Christ the more I fell in love with my fellow man. The more I love man the more I desire him to be saved and tell him so plainly.

Speaking on missionaries, one godly man state that “The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for souls, as we often hear, but love for Christ

How is your love for Christ? Do you love him enough that the burden you have for the souls of others supersedes the burden you have to protect your own feelings?

In other words, are you more concerned for their souls than you are for what they think of you?

Are you more worried that death will suddenly claim its next victim than  you are being hated for preaching the warning?

  • The Hunger

Jeremiah was terribly reproached by those he tried to preach to. They beat him, the put him in stocks, they put him in chains, they put in in prison, AN ABASSADOR IN BONDS was Jeremiah in the Old testament, yet he had a love for God and a hunger for his word;

Jeremiah 20:9

9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Let me tell you with all confidence, the hunger you have for the lost souls of this world will equal the hunger you have for the Lord.

Jesus said “my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed

If Christ is just an appetizer for you and your rather have your feast in the world, then you have no part in the gospel of Christ.

If Jesus is just your dessert at the end of a weak of fleshly feasting, then you are not an ambassador for Christ, you are living to fill your lusts with the dregs this world has to offer.

But if you HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, then Jesus said you will be filled.

If you have such a hunger for Christ that nothing else can come close to satisfying, you will be filled with a burden for the lost in this world.

So much so, you can say with Jeremiah his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

An Ambassador In Bonds v20

For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:20

We all are Ambassadors for Christ, citizens of heaven, who have a purpose that is GREATER than any other purpose of any other person living for the glory of this world.

And Satan knows it.

Is it a wonder that the one thing Paul was in prison for was for the sharing of the Gospel of Christ?

Is it a wonder that the one thing hated by the world and set as the offscouring of the world, is the heaven can be attained freely by faith in Christ. That there is no cost to gain heaven after your eyes close in this life.

That the price has been paid, and eternal life is FREE for all who believe the Gospel.

It’s a wonder to me that such a glorious message can be so despised by the world.

 Jesus said : “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mrk 8:36)

And Satan know it.

It is the one thing the devil hates and it is the one thing that he works hardest to do against ANY Christian that runs the risk of being effective for Christ.

Sadly, too many Christians succumb to the challenges and don’t put up much of a fight. The average Christian today does not Love Jesus enough to fight on, to persevere, to endure hardness as a good soldier for Christ. 

  • If the devil cannot keep you from being saved, if next he fails to make you backslide, then he undertakes to keep you just an average Christian. Sadly, here he succeeds with most believers.

Vance Havner said in one of his sermons;

  • Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil. Most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition

If you are rousing the opposition of the Devil then it seems your love for Jesus is growingand your burden for the lost is increasing and as these all grow together.  

Your success may be made manifest by reaching the top of your profession as AN AMBASSADOR IN BONDS.

In China today the preachers of the Underground Church don’t think you are serious enough as a Christian if you have not yet been imprisoned for the sake of the gospel.

What are you saying Pr Edi, that we should all go to jail for preaching?

I am saying that if you love the Lord Jesus Christ as much as he deserves to be loved, there is no end where you would not be willing to go.

For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:20

Paul needed the intercessory prayers of the saints that he might fulfill his course and finish it with joy. He told those of the Church of the extent of his willingness to fulfill his work as an ambassador.

Turn to Acts 20

In Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Acts 21:4

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:10

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

Three times was Paul warned about returning to Jerusalem,

First in chapter 20:22 when he was stirred in the spirit not knowing the things that would befall him at Jerusalem.

The second time in Acts 21:4  where his disciples warned him not to go.

Lastly here in Acts 21:10-14 where a specific prophecy was given him.

Should he have gone?

Was that the Lord telling him NOT to go?

We know the outcome of it all, and his final imprisonment from where he wrote this very letter we are looking at to the Ephesians, where he wrote the letter to the Philippians, and where he wrote the letter to the Colossians.

Was he wrong to Go?

Paul was an Ambassador for Christ just like you and I are this day.

He was “bound in the spirit” to go to Jerusalem, he was sent by the Lord to go there and as he said in verse 13 he was not only willing to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus

In chapter 23 it was the Lord himself who stood by Paul encouraging him, saying;

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. (Acts 23:11)

What we see is a reflection of his love for Jesus.

 His willingness to give his life for this work and to him, this was his greatest joy of all.

Turn to 2 Timothy 4:1-8

In Paul’s final letter, also written from Rome, Paul speaks of his ministry drawing to a close and, after all that he has endured for Christ, all the afflictions he has undergone that we have read about, you tell me if you see ANY HINT of regret in his words.

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 

An Ambassador in Bonds was Paul, AMBASSADORS are we.

Just as the first century church began in obscurity and preached the Gospel to the world, so too will those faithful in the last century Church fulfil that work begun, till Jesus comes.

How wonderful would it be that when the Lord returns for the Church, to meet them in the air, that moment that you are changed, you were found in the midst of attending to your work as an Ambassador….even if need be, AN AMBASSADOR IN BONDS?



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