The natives on the island of Malta are very welcoming to the 276 men who are shipwrecked. And Paul shows the natives the love of God by healing their sick during his 3 month stay on the island.
“Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.” Paul reaches out to the Jewish leaders “to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved…Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”
While imprisoned in Rome, Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians. Paul tells them, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Paul goes on to pray that the Lord will give them “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
Paul says that we were all once dead in our trespasses, conducting “ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
After the fall, back in the garden of Eden, we all inherited Adam’s and Eve’s sin problem. We are born deserving of death. But God, in His love for us, sent His son to take on the wrath that we deserve so that we may be alive in Christ. And we are made alive in Christ not just for the sole purpose of eternal life; we are also made alive in Christ to carry out the good works He has planned for us. So if you are in Christ and you woke up this a.m., that’s your job!
More from Paul to the Ephesians tomorrow so keep reading.
(Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22)