“Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.” And Paul shows the natives the love of God by healing their sick during his three 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. So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: ‘Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ ‘Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!’ And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.”
“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 encourages the Ephesians by telling them that he does not cease giving thanks and praying for them. Paul prays that the Lord will give them “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
Paul explains 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 in the garden of Eden, we all inherited Adam and Eve’s sin problem. Therefore, we are all born sinners, 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 by faith in Him. And we are made alive in Christ not just for the sole purpose of eternal life; we are 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 morning, that is your call and purpose – to share the knowledge and love of Christ with others!
More from Paul to the Ephesians tomorrow, so keep reading.
(Acts 28:1-31, Ephesians 1:1-2:22)