Testimony of the Lord's Prisoner

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Testimony of the Lord's Prisoner

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By Charles H. Welch

Book Review by Robert Guenther
An exposition of four of Paul's prison epistles: Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and 2 Timothy. These works by Paul, which were written after Acts 28:28, reveal the dispensation of the Mystery and the position of our Head, Christ Jesus.

Our book begins with the Ephesian letter that can be best understood by dividing it into two sections. First, the doctrinal teaching, or our standing in which our hope, calling and inheritance in the heavenlies is revealed. Then the practical chapters, or our state, is explained to instruct us on how to walk worthy of His calling. We also discover that Ephesians and Colossians have very similar themes and are often paired together when addressing our doctrine. Philippines and 2 Timothy are paired to expose the practical side of our walk.

Next we have Philippians. Mr. Welch would have us notice that we don't have the fulness of Christ in view here, but instead we have His self-emptying work. The prize of the high calling is to be kept in view. So, position is exchanged for responsibility, and we should be concerned with winning or losing the prize or reward.

Colossians is discussed next. The parallel of the subject matter of a Ephesians and Colossians is noted and explained. Then the ‘Beware’ warning is addressed. There are many false teachers with doctrines which will beguile us of our rewards. We need wisdom from above to discern what is truth for today. May we not become a stumbling block to others as we practice the true freedom we have in Christ from religious ordinances and so-called holy days. It is God who will judge the work we do for Him.

The last book discussed is 2 Timothy. This book is addressed to Paul’s adopted son, Timothy, but many of the practical truth contained in this letter can find an application in our lives. Paul's main concerns were that his life was going to end soon and that Timothy would have to carry on the good fight of faith without him. Paul desired that we be found faithful also and wrote on the topic often. He encourages us that in spite of the sufferings, that a believer will have to face in the last days, reigning with Christ will far exceed the cost of our sufferings we face now.

By taking the approach Mr. Welch has in this book of rightly dividing the Word of Truth, many things have been affirmed. Our heavenly hope and instructions are not the same as Israel's, and we should preach the Word with the Mystery in view.