Acts 24:23 – And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
The following logic is truly quite simple. If you’re a prisoner, you’re not free. If you’re free, you’re not a prisoner. To say that you are free while you are indeed a prisoner in maximum security would be considered an oxymoron by some, while others would consider you a total fool, bereft of all good sense. But dear friend, that is simply a way of life in living out a divine prerogative that belongs solely to the child of God. Consider for a moment the physical circumstance in which Paul found himself. He was a prisoner of Roman government, and at the same time experienced every freedom a non-prisoner enjoyed. He lived in a state of liberty that gave him any desire of human contact he desired.
Now let’s look at the life of the believer. On at least five times in the Scriptures, Paul referred to himself as a prisoner in the possession of the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet we fully recognize that in Christ, we are free, having been fully redeemed from the curse of the law. It was Paul who penned the words, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Oh, what an oxymoron this is to the world. The unsaved cannot understand this at all. They can read the words, hear the words, and even speak the words, but without the light of Jesus living in them, they cannot under- stand the words.
But if you are in Christ, everything, for you, has changed. You have indeed been redeemed from the curse of the law, Jesus having been made a curse for you. However, in that work of redemption, Jesus paid the total cost for your redemption, spirit, soul, and body. And through the completeness of that work, you have become His prized (peculiar) treasure. You belong to Him, totally and completely. You are His. In Him you live and move and have your being. Without Him, you are lost, aimless, powerless, and fruitless. But in Him all those things change, completely. You have a free will, to be exercised as you desire. Though He owns you, He does not control you. Many people say God is in control. Of some things, yes, but of all things, no. You are one of those things He has left outside His control. But though not in control, He is in charge. And if you will enjoy the fullness of freedom Jesus has purchased for you, you must control yourself to be yielded to His charge. Whatever He says, goes. What a joy it is to be the prisoner of the Lord Jesus! Freedom beyond compare, yet fully His possession; His prisoner.
Manna for Today – Acts 24; John 15:7; Ephesians 3:1 & 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:8; Philemon 1:1 & 9; Romans 8:1-2