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Reese Commentaries

Paul's Prison Epistles

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Paul’s Prison Epistles – the epistles of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians – are fundamentally Christological in their content, focusing on the glory of Christ and the grandeur of His church.  In these letters, Christians are helped to understand the Deity and pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, and are given unparalleled insight into God’s way of saving man.  Then, having gone to such lengths to show what God has done for all mankind through Jesus the Son, Paul offers inspired teaching regarding how men – His church – should now pattern and live their lives in order to honor and reflect Him, drawing on the power and the resources of the Spirit which He offers.

The Introductory Studies for this commentary fully address Biblical criticism issues unique to these epistles, including an extended review of the intensely Christological passage in Philippians 2:5-11, an examination of what theologians have called the “Colossian Crisis,” and the authorship and original destination of Ephesians.

Paul’s Prison Epistles can play a key role in the 21st century church's mission to help people rightly understand Jesus Christ and His work, and to arrest our culture’s slide into Gnostic-like New Age ideas that have become part of the average person's worldview.  The mystery of God’s will is still made known "in Christ", for it is still through Jesus alone that "redemption … forgiveness … and the riches of God’s grace" are "lavished upon us!"  It is for us to "be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might" so that, "having done everything, we may stand firm."


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