by Jerry Vines

Acts 23:18
Dr. Vines 6/21/87
Notice this verse refers to Paul as Paul the prisoner. That's the first
time in the book of Acts you will read this particular terminology. For the
first time Paul is referred in this verse to Paul the prisoner. In the Book
Acts in this chapter we are given the circumstances which brought Paul to be a
prisoner. For the rest of the book of Acts he will be in prison. He will not
get out of prison. The thrust of the chapters will take us all the way to the
city of Rome where as a prisoner there he will have the opportunity to bear
witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts the circumstances which
produced his imprisonment. Now, there are some letters of Paul which he writes
while he is in prison that indicate to us how he viewed his imprisonment. Some
of the greatest letters ever written have been written by Christians who were
in prison. For instance, John Bunyan. Maybe some of you have read Pilgrim's
Progress. John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress while he was in prison.
Somehow God takes the circumstances that come to the fife of a believe-r- whri-h-
may seem to be difficult and unexpected and uses them as an opportunity to
produce great Christian fortitude in the lives of God's people. Let me just
give you a few verses from the prison epistles of Paul which give you an idea
of how he viewed his imprisonment. In Eph. 4:1 he refers to himself as the
prisoner of the Lord. He understood that he was in prison for Jesus' sake.
Then in Eph. 6:20 Paul refers to himself as an ambassador in bonds. An
ambassador is one who is called to represent the king in another land. Paul
looked upon those days of imprisonment as being the herald of king Jesus an
ambassador for Jesus Christ in bonds. Then in Phil. 1:12 he is discussing the
circumstances of his imprisonment and he says this. The things which have
fallen out unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.
He is saying t ...

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