God Knows…When I’m in Deep Water – Part 3
The rest of the story of Paul is pieced together from letters he wrote while in Rome—Ephesians, to the Christians in Ephesus, Philippians to those in Philippi, Colossians to those in Colossae.
To the Ephesians he described the kind of armor needed to resist the temptations of Satan. No doubt a tall Roman solider stood beside him as Paul advised the reader to wrap himself in truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, and the helmet of salvation. More important still, hold the shield of faith in one hand and the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—in the other.
The letter to the Philippians was worth saving for later generations, too. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14).
Colossian Christians were urged to put OFF “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language” and to put ON “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.” He added, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Paul’s Last Days
Eventually, Paul was called before Caesar, the Roman emperor. The Caesar at this time was Nero, an extremely wicked man. Everyone was sure Paul would be condemned. But he wasn’t! Nero set him free. Paul had one last opportunity to travel and visit churches.
But later Paul was again arrested and sent back to Rome. He preached one last time before Nero and the crowd pressing in to hear the trial. Members of Nero’s household had become Christians because of Paul’s influence and Nero decided to put a stop to it. He sentenced Paul to death.
With joy and hope, Paul looked beyond his trials and sufferings, beyond the sword that would end his life. His dying testimony had a note of triumph and assurance. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Where to find the story: Acts 27-28, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians