After Paul’s nephew reveals that forty men in Jerusalem have devised a plot to assassinate him, the Roman commander sends him to Caesarea, the regional Roman government headquarters, escorted by nearly five hundred soldiers.
Everyone in Paul’s life advised him not to go to Jerusalem, but he went in obedience to the Holy Spirit, knowing it meant imprisonment.
His obedience allowed him to share the gospel with the high priest, the Sanhedrin, the Roman commander, and many times with the governor and his wife.
3. The charges against Paul
- A contagious plague; “a perfect pest”3
- “An agitator and source of disturbance to all the Jews throughout the world “3
- Sedition (KJV) “Instigator of insurrections,” “conduct or language inciting to rebellion against the authority of the state.”2
When Tertullus used the word “sedition,” he was accusing Paul of inciting treason among the Jews throughout the Roman Empire. This was nothing but a lie and a feeble attempt to change the charges against Paul to a political nature, hoping to obtain Rome’s judgment against him.2
- “A ringleader of the [heretical, division-producing] sect of the Nazarenes.”3
Paul responds to the charges.
He explained why he was in Jerusalem—to worship and deliver gifts for the needy—and shared his Jewish faith and his devotion to Jesus.
No one can prove that he caused any disputes or disturbances while in Jerusalem because he didn’t.
The only thing the Jews had against him were some differences in religious beliefs.2
4. a. Paul’s conversation with Felix and Drusilla
“Felix served as governor of Judea from AD 52 to 59 AD”4 and “held the same kind of authority that Pontius Pilate had during Jesus’ life and ministry.”5
Paul began by explaining that through faith in Christ Jesus, they could receive righteousness as a gift from God. The result is a changed, holy life. “He used the judgment to come as a closing argument for salvation.”2
b. Felix felt convicted, becomes terrified, and procrastinates.
Felix met Drusilla, [a Jewess, daughter of King Herod Agrippa], fell madly in love with her, and with the aid of a fake magician, convinced her to leave Azizus, [her husband, the King of Emesa] and marry him contrary to all Jewish law.2
Paul had many more conversations with Felix and Drusilla until Porcius Festus succeeded Felix two years later.
c. Reluctance and procrastination
- They don’t want to give up their lifestyle or don’t think they can, assuming they have to change first or through their own willpower.
- Some write off Christianity as a bunch of hypocrites.
- Deceived by the spirit of the age —
You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. We also all once lived among them in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3
- Some are reluctant to be different.
- Spiritual blindness — “But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:15
- They think it makes little sense that Jesus is the only way. John 14:6
A now elderly family member ridiculed my grandfather for making a public confession of faith when he was in his late sixties. He said aloud, “I don’t know why he didn’t wait until he was older”?
Here’s why no one should wait —
If someone rejects the Father’s beckoning, they are hardening their heart toward him.
No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day. John 6:44 AMPC
Sometimes people die suddenly. Or they don’t have the presence of mind.
And what about the all the years they lived without the peace and joy of the Lord? That’s so sad.
5. Sharing the Gospel
Don’t begin with God’s judgment.
Righteousness isn’t earned by repentance or behavior. It is a gift.
“For God loved the world so much, he gave His only Son,” provides the same format Paul employed. (John 3:16)
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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 26 Day 2
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